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On Exhibit: The Lines Form Here

Check out the optical illusions of Terry Haggerty's exhibit.


By Sandy Siegel '72

Published Oct 1, 2007 8:00 AM

Copyright © Photo Courtesy of the Hammer Museum

Terry Haggerty gets to do what lots of kids would love to do: draw on walls and not get in trouble for it. In fact, the Hammer Museum asked the British-born artist to do just that: create original artwork for the lobby's three primary walls. The result? Hammer Projects: Terry Haggerty, the artist's first solo exhibition in an American museum, featuring a trio of floor-to-ceiling paintings reflecting his abstract, geometric style, now on display through January 6, 2008.

Painting on walls is nothing new for Haggerty. His large-scale works on wall space and canvas have appeared in galleries, museums and private collections in such cities as Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam and New York.

Whatever the display venue, Haggerty's compositions reveal a penchant for optical illusion, in colors that evoke the 1960s and '70s — think mustard yellow and avocado green. The linear patterns of his artwork draw inspiration from everyday objects like radiators, air vents and Venetian blinds, so it isn't (and is) your imagination that one of the paintings in the Hammer's lobby resembles side-by-side, stacked radiators.

Haggerty's influences may be retro, but not his work method. He generates designs on a computer, then creates vinyl stencils for the multiple-coat painting process that, when peeled off, leave "stripes" that are clean, hard-edged and richly textured.

The installation is part of Hammer Projects, a series of exhibitions that puts the spotlight on emerging artists from around the globe, dozens of whom have produced new work or presented existing creations.

You can check out — and put your own interpretation on — Haggerty's hand-painted wall drawings during museum hours, Tuesdays through Sundays.

And kids, don't try this at home.

Hammer Projects: Terry Haggerty. Hammer Museum. Through Jan. 6, 2008. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thursdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Museum admission: $5; $3 (seniors 65+, UCLA Alumni Association members); free (museum members, students with ID, UCLA faculty/staff, visitors 17 and under accompanied by an adult). Free on Thursdays for all visitors. For more information, call (310) 443-7000 or log on to