“Outrageously magical things happen when you mess around with a symbol,” the Black artist David Hammons has said. Born in 1943, Hammons won recognition early in his career, in the 1960s, when he slathered himself and others in margarine and baby oil, and then pressed body parts against paper, sprinkling the marks in powdered pigment. Hammons completed the powerful impressions with drawing and collage, using found objects such as maps, flags, and pieces of clothing to weave in diverse narratives. These works speak to the sacredness of the Black body, but also catch the biting effects of midcentury American injustice. On view at The Drawing Center are works from the years 1968 to 1979. —E.C.
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