In the wake of the Spurs’ crushing defeat of Oklahoma City* last night in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, it seems an appropriate moment to visit the basketball in art. The reigning champion of the genre is David Hammons, but other artists have explored the theme as well. Here is a sampling. Defend to the End!
David Hammons, Untitled, 2000, crystal, brass, frosted glass, light fixtures, hardware and steel, 77 x 87 x 25″
David Hammons, Higher Goals, 1986 (commissioned by Public Art Fund). Image: Pinkney Herbert and Jennifer Secor
David Hammons, Untitled (Basketball Drawing), 2004, Dirt on paper in gilded frame, found suitcase, 120 x 48 x 8 1/2″. [via Zwirner & Wirth]
David Hammons, Untitled (Basketball Drawing), 2006-2007, Courtesy L & M Arts [via LACMA]
Mel Chin, Temple of the New Gods, 2011, steel, polypropylene rope, basketball nets, basketballs, paint
dimensions variable [installation at the Nave Museum, Victoria, TX]
Jeff Koons, Three Ball 50/50 Tank (Two Dr. J. Silver Series, One Wilson Supershot), 1985, Glass, painted steel, distilled water, plastic, and three basketballs, 60 5/8 x 48 3/4 x 13 1/4″, Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Werner and Elaine Dannheisser, © 2014 Jeff Koons
Oscar Tuason, People, 2012. Sugar maple tree, concrete, metal basketball, backboard and hoop. Image: Jason Wyche [via the New School]
Ludwig Schwarz, Untitled (War on Terror II), 2003, courtesy the artist
The Art Guys, Basketball Pyramid Maquette (for Acres Homes), 2009
Inges Idee collective, Basketballfield, 2006, Munich [via]
Finally, a special shout-out to a couple of rec centers in Florida for their remarkably good basketball-themed public art:
Artist unknown, chandeliers made from sports trophy tops, West Orange Recreation Center, Winter Garden FL
Jefre Manuel, And One, Barnett Park Recreation Center, Orlando, FL
*If you haven’t seen it yet, last month the Thunder’s Kevin Durant delivered the only basketball MVP speech likely to bring you to tears. It’s worth a watch.
Rainey Knudson is the founder and publisher of Glasstire.
also by Rainey Knudson