School of Arts

profile image for Professor Martin Hammer

Professor Martin Hammer

Professor of History and Philosophy of Art

Head of School of Arts



Martin arrived in Canterbury in September 2012, having been based for some years at the University of Edinburgh.  He became Head of School in 2016.

Martin’s current area of research is artistic and cultural exchange between the UK and the USA, with particular reference to the work produced in the 1960s by David Hockney.  The art of Francis Bacon was a previous research focus. The book Francis Bacon and Nazi Propaganda (2012) presented the artist as more engaged with the wider world than is usually acknowledged, concerned to articulate in his work what it felt like to witness the rise of Fascism in the 1930s, and then then the horrifying violence and the self-destruction that ensued when the Nazi craving for power turned into the pursuit of military conquest and the Final Solution.  A key focus to that end was the very distinctive way in which Bacon assimilated and transformed to his own pictorial and expressive ends ideas derived from many kinds of photography, as well as the work of other artists.  The same emphasis on transformation and adaptation underpins his work on Hockney.

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Hammer, M. and Thomas, B. (2015). My Generation: A Festival of British Art in the 1960s. GB: University of Kent at Canterbury.
Hammer, M. (2012). Francis Bacon and Nazi Propaganda. Tate Publishing.
Hammer, M. (2007). The Naked Portrait 1900 to 2007. Edinburgh, UK: National Galleries of Scotland.
Hammer, M. (2005). Bacon and Sutherland : Patterns of Affinity in British Culture of the 1940s. Yale University Press.
Hammer, M. (2005). Graham Sutherland: Landscapes, War Scenes, Portraits 1924-1950. Scala.
Hammer, M. and Lodder, C. (2000). Gabo on Gabo: Texts and Interviews. Artists Bookworks, Forest Row.
Hammer, M. and Lodder, C. (2000). Constructing Modernity: the Art and Career of Naum Gabo. Yale University Press.
Hammer, M. (2017). Between a Rock and a Blue Chair: David Hockney’s Rocky Mountains and Tired Indians (1965). British Art Studies [Online]. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2017). The photographic source and artistic affinities of David Hockney’s ‘A bigger splash’. Burlington Magazine [Online] 159:386-393. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2017). David Hockney’s Early Etchings: Going Transatlantic and Being British. Tate Pepers [Online]. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2015). There is no such thing as British Art. British Art Studies [web site]. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2015). Ambivalence and Ambiguity: David Sylvester on Henry Moore. 2015 [web site]. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2014). The Independent Group take on Francis Bacon. Visual Culture in Britain [Online] 15:69-89. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2013). Kenneth Clark and the Death of Painting. Tate Papers [web site]. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2013). Mainly Nourishment: Echoes of Sickert in the Work of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Visual Culture in Britain [Online] 14:87-100. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2012). Francis Bacon: Back to Degas. Tate Papers [Article]. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2012). ‘After Camden Town: Sickert’s Legacy since 1930’. The Camden Town Group in Context [Article]. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2010). Found in Translation: Chaim Soutine and English Art. Modernist Cultures [Online] 5:218-242. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2010). Francis Bacon and the Lefevre Gallery. Burlington Magazine 152:307-312.
Hammer, M. and Stephens, C. (2009). Seeing the story of one’s time: appropriations from Nazi photography in the work of Francis Bacon. Visual Culture in Britain [Online] 10:315-351. Available at:
Book section
Hammer, M. (2017). Hockney as Philosophical Painter. in: Stephens, C. and Wilson, A. eds. David Hockney. London, UK: Tate Publishing, pp. 208-213.
Hammer, M. (2016). Introduction. in: Currie, K. and Hammer, M. eds. Ken Currie: Tragic Forms. Flowers Gallery, London. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2014). The Growth and Form of Artistic Responses to D’Arcy Thompson. in: D'Arcy Thompson's On Growth and Form. Leeds: Henry Moore Institute, pp. 14-29. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2012). Francis Bacon: Painting after Photography. in: British Art in the Cultural Field, 1939-69. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 156-173.
Hammer, M. (2012). Continuity and Contradiction in the Art of Francis Bacon. in: Arya, R. ed. Francis Bacon: Critical and Theoretical Perspectives. Pater Lang, pp. 121-168.
Hammer, M. (2009). Clearing away the Screens. in: Francis Bacon: Portraits and Heads. Edinburgh, UK: National Galleries of Scotland. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2006). Clearing away the screens. in: Francis Bacon: Heads and Portraits. Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, pp. 14-27.
Hammer, M. and Lodder, C. (2004). Dematerialising Sculpture: Methods and Motives. in: Barassi, S. ed. Immaterial: Brancusi,Gabo,Moholy-Nagy. Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. Available at:
Hammer, M. (1999). The Irony of Egotism. in: John Coplans: A Self-Portrait 1984-99. Edinburgh: Dean Gallery, pp. 5-14.
Hammer, M. (2016). Frank Auerbach. The Burlington Magazine CLVIII:214-215.
Hammer, M. (2010). Francis Bacon. Dublin and Compton Verney (exhibition review). Burlington Magazine [Online] 152:59-61. Available at:
Conference or workshop item
Hammer, M. (2017). Photographic sources and affinities in David Hockey's art of the 1960s. in: A Bigger Picture: New Approaches to David Hockney - Tate Britain and the Paul Mellon Centre.. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2016). Crossing the border and closing the gap: David Hockney and abstraction. in: Generation Painting: Abstraction and British Art, 1955–65.. Available at:
Hammer, M. (2016). Making transatlantic sense of Hockney’s A Rake’s Progress. in: History of Art department research seminar, University of York.
Hammer, M. (2016). Food for Artists: the exhibition as resource. in: Exhibiting Contemporary Art in Post-War Britain.
Hammer, M. (2015). David Hockney’s Tired Indians and Rocky Mountains.
Hammer, M. (2015). The Silent Kingdom of Panting: Sickert and Hopper. in: Walter Sickert: The Document and the Documentary.
Hammer, M. (2015). Francis Bacon’s ‘Crucifixion’: The presence of the Nazi past.
Hammer, M. (2015). 1965; Culture and Sculpture in Britain. in: Sculpture: 1965.
Show / exhibition
Hammer, M. (2015). My Generation: A Festival of British Art in the 1960s. [exhibitions].
Hammer, M. (2007). The Naked Portrait. [exhibition].
Hammer, M. (2005). Graham Sutherland. [exhibition].
Total publications in KAR: 42 [See all in KAR]
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I have taught many areas of British and International modernism, and feel that both I and my students benefit when course work is closely aligned to current research projects.  Recent and current modules have focussed on the art of Francis Bacon and on artistic exchange between the UK and the USA.  I also convene the Introduction to Art History module and the course on images of the body taught in our Kent in Paris MA programme.


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Having recently completed a series of publications centred on the art of Francis Bacon, I am now moving on to new projects.  My main focus is a collaboration with colleagues at Kent and elsewhere, working in film, literature, music, architecture and popular culture as well as on artistic developments, which addresses the theme of Transatlantic artistic relations since the Second World War, a period when Britain and the USA had a multitude of cultural, economic and political ties, and travel across the Atlantic became quick and cheap. There is great scope for considering in detail and depth how artists, critics, galleries and collectors responded to the other culture, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and antipathy, and conditioned by the mental and visual baggage they took with them.  The art of David Hockney in the 1960s is proving a wonderful case study for exploring such issues.

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Having supervised several PhDs to completion, I would welcome approaches and applications in the areas of British and International art in the mid-20th century.

Since September 2012 I have been supervising James Finch's PhD on the art writing of the British art critic David Sylvester, under the terms of an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (co-supervisor: Dr Jennifer Mundy of Tate Research) 

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Last Updated: 29/11/2018