Jeffrey Gibson:

Like A Hammer

FEB 28 – MAY 12 2019


Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer is a major museum exhibition presenting a significant selection of this contemporary artist’s exuberant artwork created since 2011. Gibson’s complex work reflects varied influences, including fashion and design, abstract painting, queer identity, popular music, and the materials and aesthetics of Native American cultures. The more than 65 works on view include beaded punching bags, figures and wall hangings, abstract geometric paintings on rawhide and canvas, performance video, and a new multimedia installation.

Gibson is of Cherokee heritage and a citizen of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. He grew up in urban settings in Germany, South Korea, the United States, and England, and his work draws on his experiences in different cultural environments. In his artwork, materials used in Indigenous powwow regalia, such as glass beads, drums, trade blankets, and metal jingles, are twined together with aspects of queer club culture as well as the legacies of abstract painting. The inspiration and community of dance clubs and pop music reverberates throughout his work. This is most noticeable in his incorporation of song lyrics as text in many artworks or as titles of artworks. You may or may not recognize the source of Gibson’s references, but you will read meaning into them either way.


Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer is organized by the Denver Art Museum. Seattle Art Museum is the third stop on the exhibition’s national tour.

Special exhibitions at SAM are made possible by donors to
Jeffrey & Susan Brotman for Special Exhibitions

Lead Sponsor
Major Sponsors
Bette and David Sprague Exhibition Endowment

Supporting Sponsors
Ellen Ferguson
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
Port Madison Enterprises
The Stranger

Additional Support
Puyallup Tribe of Indians
Tulalip Cares Foundation

About the Artist

Jeffrey Gibson

Born in Colorado in 1972, Gibson holds a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and continued his studies in London at the Royal College of Art where he received his MA in 1998. His work has been included in major survey exhibitions and solo shows nationally and internationally including exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Clinton, NY; the National Academy Museum, New York; and the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Gibson is also the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, research fellowships, and grants. Since 2010, the artist has built a body of work that draws on diverse histories, materials and processes that result in hybrid, visionary objects. The Seattle Art Museum recently acquired one of Gibson’s signature punching bags for its collection. He lives and works in New York State.

Advisory Committee

Seattle Art Museum convened a group of advisors, from diverse backgrounds and affiliations, to provide guidance throughout the exhibition planning process.

Like A Hammer Advisory Committee: Kemi Adeyemi, Miranda Belarde-Lewis, RYAN! Feddersen, Jared L. Mills, Uma Rao

Plan Your Visit

See it First. See it Free.

Enjoy unlimited FREE admission, early access, and special discounts.

❤ Become a Member

Visitor Info

Find information on Seattle Art Museum admission, hours, parking, directions, accessibility, and more.

Visitor Info

Customer Service Center

Use the online form for questions about membership, ticketing, online account information, and general website feedback. Or call us at 206.654.3210, 10 am–5 pm, daily.

Contact Us