Ann Hamilton: Sense

  • Hardcover / 8.75 x 12 inches
    176 pages / 110 images

  • ISBN: 9781942185802
  • Trade Edition: $65.00
  • Pre-Order
  • Signed Edition: $70.00
  • Pre-Order


Ann Hamilton believes that projects can be considered, not as artifacts or something to be documented, but as their own material object—in this case, a book. While Sense contains images that Hamilton has accumulated over many years, of people and of objects that conflate touch, light, and surface, the book also becomes an object in hand, a thing felt, an artwork in itself. Mallarmé begins The Book: Spiritual Instrument with, “Everything in the world exists to end up as a book.” While working on the building-wide project, the common SENSE with Sylvia Wolf, this idea inspired Hamilton: “….maybe the form of the project is not the installation or the exhibition or all the weeks of time and programming….maybe the actual form of the project is a book….and the installation is the work and the process for generating the book’s questions and materials.”

Ann Hamilton’s practice is centered in the metaphorical structures and material processes of textiles, and takes form as large-scale site-responsive installations, performance collaborations, print media and public projects. Inspired by histories and geographies of place, the work’s multiple forms often juxtapose expressions of language and tactile materiality to explore relationships between the individual and the collective, the animate and inanimate, the human and non-human animal, the silent and the spoken. Whether comprised of a building four stories high or confined to the surface of a thimble—or the pages of this book turning on one’s hands—the qualities of these spaces, objects and their atmospheres evoke an awareness of the site and the scale of the body to ask how in a technologically extended world the literacies of the hand and embodied knowledge matter, and further, to explore the possibility for cultivating attention in a hyper distracted world of information.


Born in Lima, Ohio, in 1956, Ann Hamilton received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 1985. From 1985 to 1991, she taught on the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Hamilton has served on the faculty of The Ohio State University since 2001, where she is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art. Among her many honors, Hamilton has been the recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, Heinz Award, MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, and the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. She represented the United States in the 1991 Sao Paulo Bienal, the 1999 Venice Biennale, and has exhibited extensively around the world.