"Where Are We Going?" Selections from the Francois Pinault Collection
By Robert Storr
In the winter of 2006, a career retrospective of the work of David Hammons was mounted at Triple Candie, a gallery housed in a bare-bones brick warehouse at the edge of Harlem. There were no originals on view, only grainy small-format photocopies and downloaded Internet printouts of graphics, drawings, sculptures, installations, and performances affixed to plywood sheets with coarse black tape. Officially, the artist did not participate in the organization of the exhibition, which was billed as "The Unauthorized Retrospective," though gissips wondered if he was not somewhere behind the scenes. Whether or not Hammons quietly collaborated in the enterprise -- stealth is essential to his hit-and-run art-world interventions -- the show's emphasis on the elusiveness of meaning and the ephemeral nature of all cultural artifacts was the perfect homage to one of the most subtly provocative American artists working today.
In the 1970s, Hammons, born in 1943, made his first impression on contemporary art in the most literal way, that is to say, in a series . . .