As an artist I have found that process is a fundamental part of my work. In practice this means that I might have ideas about where my work is going, but often the physical process of the work informs what actually happens in my studio. I am interested in evoking sensation and making work which is corporeal in nature. While the figures and portraits may begin to point towards or suggest sentiment, it is important to me that the work is not sentimental but experiential.

Growing up in a small agricultural community in California, my exposure to cultural institutions was limited, at best. I have always been drawn to places and objects that are full of mystery. Some of my most significant visual influences were images I saw in church. While the religious aspect of my church experience was less pressing, the visual cues at church were what kept my attention. I am fascinated by shrines and ex-votos-devotional votive objects that families make to show love and respect. These objects inspire the type of physical intimacy that holds my artistic practice. Asian art is also a strong influence on my work. From Tibetan medical drawings to Buddhist sculptures, I find myself looking to ancient forms for inspiration. Gesture often plays a most prominent role for these artists, as it does for me, whether it plays out in a small aspect of the image or is its essence, as with the images of hands.

Layering is another essential aspect of my work. Whether this is seen or perceived as physical or contextual, my interest is in combining the literal and emotional qualities that are evoked through the physical process of layering. I begin by collecting ferns and other organic materials, transforming them through drawing and the printmaking process, creating images that marry the ferns with images of the body. These images reflect the uniqueness of individual hands, as well as reveal the tracing of the spirit. The process, in which the image itself is submerged in a tray of heated wax, metaphorically removes the image from the world of the living but paradoxically preserves it indefinitely. The images act as mechanisms to stop time, to document a moment in a person life, an open meditation on portraiture.

Valerie's work exists in a glimmer, in the periphery, slightly away or out of vision, in a kind of magical realm in the musty undergrowth at the edge of our gardens. She is graced with a knowledge and appreciation of enchantment. She works extensively in paper using repetitive images that unfold and reveal nuances. She unearths the deep-rooted connection between our bodies and the natural earth; the way things deteriorate and are reborn. By focusing on remnants and traces she creates a physical reliquary representing our ancestors and our lives in flux.

- Kiki Smith


Valerie Hammond maintains a fluid artistic practice, distinguished by for her organic approach and deft interaction with different mediums. Yet the tangibility of her materials and processes are subtly undermined by the poetic nature of her imagery. Hammond was born in Santa Maria, California. She received her MFA from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was awarded the Eisner Award. Her work is included in public and private collections such as the Walker Art Center, The Fine Arts Museum Houston, The Library of Congress, the New York Public Library’s Print and Drawing Collection, the Getty Museum, the Progressive Collection,the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the Grand Palais Museum, and the Fidelity Collection. She has exhibited in solo shows and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, China, New Zealand and India. Hammond is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Peter S. Reed Foundation. She currently lives in New York City.

Hammond's delicate drawings stem from childhood memories of a beloved fairy-painting, an illustration of an old English nursery rhyme, "Death of Cock Robin." While the poem, in which various birds prepare for the burial of a murdered friend, may have had larger political implications, Hammond links her drawings to personal themes of memory, youth and death, referencing, in particular, the loss of her mother. In the drawing, bats hover above flowers, birds mesh with butterflies. The natural world's cyclical disintegration and re-growth suggests a kind of universal story-telling, the seasons providing beginning and end. Hammond's glowing, red-orange ink is reminiscent of blood, the capillary-like stems and leaves reference the human body. Ethereal pencil lines counterbalance the red's viscosity, evoking a place where the material and immaterial collide.

- Maggie Wright

Chronological list of Selected Exhibitions:


Language of Birds: Occult and Art, 80 WSE Gallery, New York, NY
New Prints 2016/Winter, IPCNY, New York, NY


Printing Women, New York Public Library, New York, NY
Lure: John Davis Gallery, Hudson, New York
DRAW: Mapping Madness, Dali Contemporary Art, Gucheng, Dali, China
New Prints, Clo Cill Rialaig Gallery, Co Kerry, Ireland


Decay: The Ephemeral Body in Art, Grinnell College, Grinnell Iowa
On Being, Union College, Mandeville Gallery, Schenectady, NY, catalogue
Valerie Hammond Prints, Tina Goodwin Gallery, Denver, Colorado
Print Facets: Five Centuries of Printmakers, The Curator Gallery, New York, NY, catalogue
Somewhere between Creation & Destruction, University of Hartford Gallery, Hartford, Conn., catalogue
Three Artist at the Bronson House, Valerie Hammond ,Kiki Smith and Seton Smith, Hudson, NY
In Pursuit of Wonder, 1 E 53rd st Gallery, New York, NY
DRAW: Mapping Madness, Inside-Out Museum, Beijing, China, catalogue
NYABF PS1 MOMA, Booklyn Artist Alliance, New York, NY
INK Miami, Wildwood Press, Miami, Florida
E/ABF, Becky Lax Prints and Booklyn Artist Alliance, New York, NY
New York-New Delhi, Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi, India


The Morphology of the Print, Lehman College, New York, NY
Streaming Spirits: New Prints by Valerie Hammond and Kiki Smith, SCAD, Atlanta, Georgia
Streaming Spirits: New Prints by Valerie Hammond and Kiki Smith , SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia
New Prints 2013/Winter, IPCNY, New York, NY
A Show of Hands, Tucson Art Museum, Tuscan, Arizona
New Prints 2013/Winter, Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh, Scotland


Streaming Spirits: New Prints by Valerie Hammond and Kiki Smith, Gallerie Pfreim, Lacoste, France
Diamond Leaves: Brilliant artist books from around the world, curated by Xu Bing and Marshall Weber, CAFA Museum, Beijing, China
Welcome Back, New lithographs at Tamarind Press, Albuquerque, NM
Mark Making: Prints from Wildwood Press, St. Louis University Museum of Art, St. Louis, Mo


Printer/Publisher Artist/Printer Courtney Obata and Wildwood Press, Bonsack Gallery, John Burroughs School, St. Louis, MO
A Printer's Spotlight/15 Years of Wildwood Press, Gallery, Gallery 210, University of Missouri St Louis, St. Louis, MO
Threshold, Valerie Hammond, Littlejohn Contemporary Gallery, New York, NY
Papertails, 80 WSE Gallery, Curated by Valerie Hammond and Kiki Smith, NY, NY
IFPDA Print Fair, Tamarind Press new editions, New York, NY


Hot Harvest: The Gowanus Studio Space 2010 Printmaking Fellows and Friends, Brooklyn, New York
Drawings, curated by Katia Santibanez, Muriel Guepin Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
Humanimal, Portsmouth Museum of Art, Portsmouth, NH
Aether, Valerie Hammond, Walker Contemporary, Boston, Mass
Propagating Eden: Uses and Techniques of Nature Printing in Botany and Art, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY
Encaustics: Wax and Image, Westchester College Center for the Arts, White Plains, NY


Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond Etchings and Encaustic Drawings, Toots and Magoo Gallery, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Off the Wall: Contemporary Installation, Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York


Valerie Hammond, Twilight contes de fees, Garson Baker Fine Art, NY
The Beast Within, Bowman Bloom Gallery, New York, NY
New Prints Fall 2008, ICPNY, NY, NY
E/AB Fine Print Fair, New Editions, The Brodsky Center, NY, NY
Propagating Eden: Uses and Techniques of Nature Printing in Botany and Art, ICPNY, NY, NY
Peace, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
NEXT Art Fair, Cue Art Foundation, Chicago, IL
Art Chicago, Wildwood Press, Chicago, IL
Aqua Miami, Wildwood Press, Miami, Florida


Corpo-real , Book as Body, Body as Book, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
The Big Draw, site-specific public drawing project at Teardrop Park, The Drawing Center, NY, NY
Ten Years of Wildwood Press, Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont
Tease, Garson Fine Arts, New York, NY
Emily Dickinson Rendered, Glyndor Gallery, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY
Valerie Hammond Works in Progress, Wildwood Press, St. Louis, Missouri
Ether Valerie Hammond, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona


Valerie Hammond, curated by Kiki Smith, The Cue Foundation, NY, NY
Colectiva Diciembre-Emero, Michel Soskine Inc., Madrid Spain
Hair, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
Valerie Hammond, M% Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio
Art 212, M% Gallery, New York, New York
Valerie Hammond and Mary Mcfarland, NG Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand
Flow Art Fair, M% Gallery, Miami, Florida


De Balthus a Zeller, Michel Soskine In., Madrid, Spain
Tracings, Valerie Hammond, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
Valerie Hammond/Kim Cridler; Tracings, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah
Scope New York, M% Gallery, New York, New York
Pulp, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York
New Prints 2005/Spring Selected by Kiki Smith, International Print Center, NY, NY
Encaustic Works 2005, Sammuel Dorsky Museum, New Paltz, New York


Means, RKL Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
Valerie Hammond and Judy Pfaff, M% Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio
Valerie Hammond, Port Gallery, Port Chalmers, New Zealand
Multiple Encounters, Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, New Delhi, India,
Jawahar, Kala Dendra, Jaipur, Dala Akadeni, Goa, Dirla Akadeni of fine Arts, Calcutta


Valerie Hammond, Memento, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
Meander, M% Gallery, Cleveland Ohio
Garden of Compassion, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona


25th Small Works, 80 WSE Galleries, (Jury Prize) NY, NY
Yale Faculty Show, Norfolk, Connecticut
Small Packages, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee
Winter Show, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York


Work of Papers, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York
Memory, Brewery Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


Prints 2000, Holland Tunnel Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
Waxing Poetic Encaustic Art in America, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey,
And Knoxville Art Museum, Knoxville, Tennessee


Valerie Hammond and Lisa Lawley, The Panting Center, New York, New York


Location, Kendall Fine Art, Hudson, New York


The Altered Image, Islip Art Museum, New York


A Sense of Order, The Painting Center, New York


Woman's Drawings, Council of the Arts Gallery, Catskill, New York


Group Show, Artist Space Gallery, New York
Gallery Artists, Galerie Caroline Corre, Paris, France


Group Show, Mona Bismark Foundation, Paris, France


Artists Books, Galerie Caroline Corre, Paris, France


Valerie Hammond, J.L. Becker Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts
Messages, Carlo La Magna Gallery, New York


Disposable Art Show, Kamikaze, New York
The Fan Show, Jon Leon Gallery, New York


Original Artists Books, Frankfurt, Germany
Prenez un livre dit-elle, Yerres, France
Books of American Artists, Galerie Caroline Corre, Paris, France
3rd Salon du Livre Grand Palais Museum, Paris, France


The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minn., the New York Public Library’s print and drawing collection,
The Fine Arts Museum Houston, The Getty Museum, The Library of Congress, US Embassy, Ethiopia;
Fidelity Investments, Boston, Mass; SCAD Permanent Collection; Atlanta, Georgia; Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM;
The Progressive Collection, Grand Palais Museum, Paris, France; Agnes Gund Collection, New York, NY;
The Grinnell College Art collection, Grinnell, IA; BJC Center For Advanced Medicine, St. Louis, MO;
K&K Collection, Monaco, France

Education: MFA University of California, Berkeley

Selected Teaching Positions:

2004-Present Columbia University, New York, NY; Adjunct Professor Advanced Printmaking Projects
2003-Present New York University, New York, NY; Adjunct Professor Advanced Printmaking
2004 Cooper Union, New York, NY, Drawing, Adjunct Professor
2003 Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Visiting critic Painting
1999-2003 Yale University, Norfolk Program, Norfolk, Conn. Printmaking Instructor and Shop Manager
1999-2002 Manhattan Graphic Center, New York, NY, Printmaking Instructor
1984-Present Artist in Residence, Studio in a School, New York, NY
1981-1983 Lacoste School of the Arts, Printmaking Instructor and Shop Manager

Selected Reviews:

Jia, Lin, Valerie Hammond, The Soft Hands That Traveled Through time, Art World 280, China, November, 2014
Ebony, David, Artfully Haunted Hudson House Features Kiki Smith, Seton Smith, Valerie Hammond, Art in America, June 12, 2014
Isaacs, John. Midsummers Dream, Three Artists at the Bronson House, Local Culture, June 8, 2014
Palmer, James, Printmakers Pushing the Envelope of their Art The Riverdale Press, November 28, 2013
Rees, Lucy, Streaming Spirits IN Lacoste, Flash Art, October 2012
Baran, Jessica, Mark Making at SLU, Riverfront Times, October 18,2012
Wei, Lily, Valerie Hammond and Kiki Smith are Not Afraid of Ghost, Art in America, July 16, 2012
Rosenweig, Zach, The Paper Project, Bomb Magazine, September 12, 2011
Mattera, Joan, Fiber and Wax, Surface design Magazine, 2011
Shulman, Ken, Valerie Hammond, Walker Contemporary Boston, ArtNews, June 2010
McQuaid, Cate, Dark and Delicate, Valerie Hammond, The Boston Globe, March 17, 2010
Gordon, Amanda, The Belle of Wave Hill, The New York Sun, 2007
Smith, Kiki, Curators Statement: Valerie Hammond, catalogue, The Cue Art Foundation 2006
Stavitsky, Gail. Waxing Poetic: Encaustic Art in America, New Jersey; Rutgers University Press, 1999
Cotter, Holland, A Garden of Subjects, Materials and Styles Across New Jersey. New York Times, July 1999
Zimmer, William. Wax as a Medium and a Message, New York Times, June, 1999

Grants and Residency's

2014 Cill Rialaig Artists Residency, Ballinskelligs, Ireland (Print edition published)
2013 Cill Rialaig Artists Residency, Ballinskelligs, Ireland (Print edition published)
2012 New York Foundation for the Arts Grant
2009 Peter S Reed Foundation Grant
2006 LMCC Artist Grant
2002 New York Foundation for the Arts Grant

valerie (at)