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Four Ways to Blue


Jane Hammond (American, b. 1950), Four Ways to Blue, 2006
Photo Credit: 

Laura Shea

Not On View
Hammond, Jane
American (1950- )
Place made: 
New York, NY
Four Ways to Blue, 2006
Hand-cut digital print with gouache, acrylic, and horsehair over laser-cut Japanese paper over handmade Japanese printed paper
Frame: 13 9/16 in x 15 9/16 in; 34.4 cm x 39.5 cm; Sheet/Image: 10 3/4 in x 12 3/4 in; 27.3 cm x 32.4 cm
Gift of Jock Reynolds and Suzanne Hellmuth in honor of her mother Jean Adele Dieffenbach Hellmuth (Class of 1942)
MH 2011.2

From the exhibtion Jane Hammond, Digital and Analog, February 1 - May 29, 2022
A black and blue butterfly hovers over a backdrop of words. Throughout her career, Hammond has incorporated butterflies into her art, often in multiples. In this poetic work, however, she has opted to highlight a single one. This uncharacteristic approach of using only one butterfly, as well as its quiet stasis, stems from the personal origins of this work. It is an 80th-birthday tribute to her friend Wynn Kramarsky (1926–2019), an internationally revered art collector and philanthropist.

Hammond connects her butterfly fascination with 20th-century Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov (author of Lolita), who was also fascinated by butterflies. The text that forms the background of the piece is excerpted from an interview with Nabokov, in which he discusses four specific pleasures of collecting butterflies, from capturing a specimen of an unknown species to enjoying the luck of a butterfly landing in the palm of one’s hand.