Hammons’s African American Flag reimagines the United States flag, replacing its colors with the red, green, and black of the Pan-African Universal Negro Improvement Association, founded in 1914.
Hammons created this version of African American Flag—one in an edition of 10—for the exhibition Who’s Ice Is Colder at Jack Tilton Gallery in New York in fall 1990. The installation featured African American Flag alongside the flags of South Korea and Yemen. Each of the flags was suspended above an oil drum containing a block of ice that gradually melted—a sly send-up on the rivalries that existed among the three communities over the ownership of neighborhood corner stores and bodegas throughout New York City.
Hammons first devised African American Flag for the exhibition Black USA at the Museum Overholland in Amsterdam in spring 1990.
Additional text from 2022