Ann Hamilton to Present Signature Lecture on April 16

The College of Arts & Letters is pleased to host National Medal of the Arts recipient, MacArthur Genius, and internationally acclaimed artist Ann Hamilton as part of the College’s Signature Lecture Series. The event, to be held virtually Friday, April 16, at 5 p.m., is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, please complete the registration form

Ann Hamilton

Recognized for her large-scale multimedia installations, public projects, and performance collaborations, Hamilton is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University.

Her large-scale installations often require expansive effort from many volunteers due to the sheer volume of material. The 1989 project, privation and excesses, covered a 45 x 32-foot concrete floor with 750,000 pennies, each laid by hand, that were coated in honey. Another laborious project, indigo blue, included a mound of 14,000 folded blue work shirts. 

Hamilton’s 2007 reinstallation of indigo blue at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
(Photo credit: John McWilliams, Ann Hamilton, Ian Reeves)

Hamilton’s public projects can be seen at major cities across the United States. Her 2018 project, Chorus, commissioned by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is located at the World Trade Center Station in New York. The piece is a marble mosaic of raised text from the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At the San Francisco Public Library, she made use of nearly 50,000 paper cards from the old library catalogues to surface some of the walls inside the building. Additional public projects include One Everyone in Austin, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri and LEW wood floor for The Seattle Public Library

Hamilton’s work also includes performance pieces, such as the event of the thread that took place in 2012 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, which included interactive works of motion, sound, texture, and script. Another performance piece, phoracaptures and combines the voices of Hamilton, Dinah Diwan, and Anne Calas each reading the same text aloud in English, French, and Arabic, revealing how the act of speaking and learning another language is an embodied act.

Hamilton’s 1989 privation and excesses exhibit at Capp Street Project in San Francisco, California. (Photo credit: Ben Blackwell, Bob McMurtry)

Hamilton’s major commissions can be found all over the world including projects for Waterfront Seattle (upcoming); Park Avenue Armory (2013); The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis (2010); The Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009); Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan (2006); La Maison Rouge Fondation de Antoine Galbert, Paris, France (2005); Historiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2004); MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2003); The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2003, 1991); The Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden (2002); Akira Ikeda Gallery, Taura, Japan (2001); The Musee d’art Contemporain, Lyon, France (1997); The Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1996); The Art Institute of Chicago (1995); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1994); The Tate Gallery, Liverpool (1994); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1993); and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1988).

Hamilton’s, Chorus, is located at the World Trader Center Station in New York City.
(Photo credit: Thibault Jeanson)

Hamilton received a BFA in Textile Design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in Sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 1985. Before serving on the faculty of The Ohio State University, she taught at the University of California Santa Barbara. 

Signature Lecture Series

Originally founded as the Celebrity Lecture Series in 1998 by the College of Arts & Letters and the Dean’s Community Council, the series was later renamed the Signature Lecture Series in 2007 and allows notable public figures to interact and engage with the faculty, students, and greater community of Michigan State University through conversations and discussions.

Support for this series has come from sponsors both within the university community and the community at large. Their generosity has been critical in attracting the best and most qualified individuals to conduct an informed and wide-ranging discussion of contemporary ideas and creative achievements in the arts and humanities.

The popularity of this series has attracted some of the most illustrious scholars, critics, novelists, poets, film producers, and creative artists of our time, including Soledad O’Brien, Ken Burns, Oliver Stone, Richard Ford, Maya Angelou, and most recently Claudia Rankine.

Written by Annie Dubois