Hand Held

Jane Hammond

American; b. Bridgeport, CT, 1950; lives and works in New York, NY


Hand Held



oil and mixed media on canvas

72 x 110 in. (183 x 279.4 cm.)

Gift of the Mary M. and Sash A. Spencer Collection
© Jane Hammond, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Accession Number: 


Jane Hammond’s paintings explore systems of language and information. For two decades the artist has limited her pictorial lexicon to 276 found images. This painting presents a map of the United States floating in a blue, gridded sea. Each state in the map is occupied by at least one picture from Hammond’s collection. Hand Held is part of a series of 64 works made in collaboration with the American poet John Ashbery (b. 1927).  For the series, Hammond asked Ashbery to write titles for potential future paintings. Hammond likens the titles to a string upon which crystals grow; the string is a catalyst but not an explicit set of instructions.