Is it possible to be an emerging artist when you're dead? Yes.
Frederick Hammersley (American, 1919-2009) worked in Los Angeles for many years, until in the late '60s when he was nearly 40, he accepted a teaching position at the University of New Mexico and moved to Albuquerque. After teaching there for a few years, he quit to devote more time to painting. Hammersley has never been well known in New York, although he had a two-person show at Artists' Space in 1987, and Dave Hickey included his work in “Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmopolitanism” at 2002 Site Sante Fe, which boosted his reputation. Last September, Hammersley had a posthumous NYC solo show at Ameringer McEnery Yohe, and Roberta Smith, comparing his paintings to work by Thomas Nozkowski, Carrie Moyer, and Andrew Masullo, declared that his work seems "very much of the moment." Venice, California, gallery LA Louver has plans to mount a solo exhibition in March.
"My painting begins with a hunch, no plan, no theory, just a feeling to make a shape," Hammersley explained in a 2003 exhibition statement. "That shape dictates what and where the next will go, and so on."
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