On Loan


Painted metal wall hook and dust

76.2 x 55.8 cm

A metal hook on a drawing made of dust, “the domestic equivalent of urban grime,” suggests the outline of a painting that once hung on the wall, sketching out its discretion and its absence. It is the invisibility, the imperceptibility of what was that David Hammons puts on display. By calling it On Loan, the artist ironically suggests that the work can never be completely “owned” regardless of the entity (museum, collector) that acquires it. By confronting us with this ghostly and mysterious apparition of a disappeared object, perhaps he is giving shape to his own self-portrait before our eyes?

Equally inspired by Duchamp's ready-mades and by Arte Povera, David Hammons collects abandoned materials and objects, often found in the street, which through displacement and assemblage, he elevates to the level of art objects.
Hammons has lived and worked in New York City since 1974, and his experiences there have influenced his work. In his work, he invokes urban sports, most often boxing and basketball, which are often associated with African-Americans. David Hammons always operates in a logic of displacement: he breathes the energy of the street into his works, stirring up Harlem's dust or the hair collected in its barbershops, into spaces dedicated to art. Radical, provocative, hard-hitting, his work draws its strength from art's critical mission to question hierarchies and modes of thought.

This work is presented for the first time in 2021 by the Pinault Collection in the inaugural exhibition of the Bourse de Commerce, entitled "Ouverture".