Thomas Hammer


Thomas Hammer was born in 1985 and grew up in Ithaca, New York. He completed his BS at Cornell University. He is known for his motion filled ink works on paper. His ink works, created with a unique tool that’s a fusion of a squeegee and a brush, are inspired by the spontaneity and vim of post-war action painting, though they employ a unique vocabulary of mark-making. He creates a sense of depth through the variety of textures that vary between smooth and flowing, staccato and rhythmic.

The physical process of creating his ink paintings involves a degree of performance. The brushwork requires gestures that activate the body like dance. He works fast and relies on instinct to achieve the right balance of spontaneity and control.

Hammer started his career as an interaction designer at digital agencies in New York City. He titles his artworks after extinct plants, evoking a moment in time which we cannot return to. His abstract works speak to the complexities of contemporary life, with the calligraphic elements offering a nod to a more cosmopolitan and inclusive art world today.

He says of his work, “I aim to create emotionally impactful works that explore the relationship between human activity and our natural surroundings. Though non-representational, my works are inspired by photography—particularly images of vast landscapes, outer space, and major meteorological events. My work alternates from organic and spontaneous to strictly linear, minimal and mechanical. I aim to balance these forces to create work that is chaotic, but still controlled. To me, a successful piece is viewed as a window to an imagined space rather than as a physical object.”

His works have been published in Architectural Digest, CoEval Magazine, and Lines Magazine and have been exhibited internationally and acquired by collectors around the world.