Harmony Hammond

1944-

Dates of Membership:

1972-1985

“…if we want to talk about what was the radical thing that feminism brought to art, or what did feminist art do that was radical, it was that it insisted upon content and meaning, and it validated the life experiences of women as subject matter and sources for the making, viewing, and critiquing of  art.  In the early 70’s this was radical -- a tremendous breakthrough.  Western art hasn't been the same since.”

As an artist and activist Harmony Hammond played an essential role in introducing intersectional and specifically lesbian politics to the 70s women’s art movement. She committed herself early on to combating the isolation many lesbians felt within the movement due to the lack of representation. She adopted a hands on approach, organizing one of the first exhibitions showcasing gay women artists titled “The Lesbian Show,” which had the additional benefit of establishing networks of support amongst said artists. Hammond later co-founded the feminist magazine “Heresies,” an editorial dedicated to creating a living record of the many conversations happening within feminist art, and fostered the discourse on sexuality, race, and other relevant matters. As an artist Hammond is often labeled as a queer abstractionist, and her work focuses primarily on analyzing the signifiers of traditionally feminine materials and playing with their meanings.

Harmony Hammond was born in 1944 in Chicago Illinois. The artist often chafed against the culture of conformity within her small town, and after studying for two years at Millikin University, she relocated to New York. Here she joined the feminist art movement and soon after became involved with A.I.R. gallery as a founding member. Hammond saw in the gallery an opportunity to make work focusing on women’s and specifically lesbian experiences away from the scrutiny of male artists quick to discount women’s perspectives. Hammond’s work has been shown internationally, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles, the  Vancouver Art Gallery,  the Municipal Museum of The Hague, and  Museo Tamayo. In recent years she has relocated to New Mexico, where she is engaged as both an artist and activist with local communities in Santa Fe.

 Photo Credit: Judy Cooper

Photo Credit: Judy Cooper


Where to find her work:

Alexander Gray Associates, NY

Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Brooklyn Art Museum, NY

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

National Museum of Women in the Arts, DC

New Mexico Museum of Art, NM