Along bottom: F. Hammersley (in pencil) THOUGHT HOLDERS (printed) #1. (in pencil) 1/5 - B (partially erased) 2/6/69 (printed); Along left: A 14552 (printed red ink)
Hammersley is best known as a leading exponent of "hard-edge" painting, a geometric style that distinguished southern-California painters of the 1950s from their abstract-expressionist counterparts on the East Coast. While teaching at the University of New Mexico in the late 1960s, he was introduced to ART1, a computer program developed for artists. He was attracted by the systematic approach that this form of drawing demanded. Using punch cards that were fed into the university's mainframe computer, Hammersley created seventy-two distinct computer-generated drawings, which he considered a progressive series or suite. He composed letters, numbers, and symbols into a dizzying array of precise geometric arrangements that are reminiscent of his hard-edge drawings, prints, and paintings.