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 Duane Hanson, Realist Sculpture, Serpentine Sackler Gallery
Artlyst Photo Special: Duane Hanson Realist Sculpture, Serpentine Sackler Gallery - ArtLyst Article image

Artlyst Photo Special: Duane Hanson Realist Sculpture, Serpentine Sackler Gallery

04-06-2015
 
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Artlyst has visited the Serpentine Sackler Gallery to see the realist works of the late American sculptor Duane Hanson. This is the first survey show of the artist in London since 1997. The artist spent an entire career portraying working-class American through realist sculpture, focusing on what Hanson perceived as the over-looked of society, those on the periphery of socia-cultural importance. Many of the artist's early works were comprised of life-sized tableaux often depicting dead soldiers various forms of social brutality and a focus on Americas homeless, often upsetting the viewer with confrontational material on controversial social subjects.

Baby in Stroller 1995 Polyvinyl, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories The Estate of Duane Hanson P A Black © Artlyst 2015

The works were moulded from either bronze, resin or polyvinyl then Hanson painted them in soft oils. The works on display span from the late 60s to when the artist began on his final works in 1995.

Flea Market Lady 1990/1994* Edition 4/4 (unique editions) Bronze, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories Collection of Gilbert Costes P A Black © Artlyst 2015

The work continually confronted viewers with uncomfortable scenes of poverty, brutality and isolation. The artist also courted controversy having been first thrust into the limelight in 1965 with a work called Abortion, depicting a young pregnant woman on a table covered with a sheet.

Flea Market Lady 1990/1994* Edition 4/4 (unique editions) Bronze, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories Collection of Gilbert Costes P A Black © Artlyst 2015

The Serpentine Sackler presents key works from the artist's oeuvre many of which are reminiscent of the Pop Art of the period, the everyday is transformed into the iconic - much in the same way as Warhol transformed his own subjects with a focus on banalities and trivialities of everyday life.

Homeless Person 1991* Autobody filler, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories Collection Hannes von Goesseln at Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg P A Black © Artlyst 2015

Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Galleries, said: “Duane Hanson’s iconic sculptures of ordinary people will literally stop visitors in their tracks this summer. Beyond the stunning realism, the power of Hanson’s work lies in his unwavering focus on and sympathy for the human condition.”

Children Playing Game 1979 Polyvinyl, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories The Estate of Duane Hanson P A Black © Artlyst 2015

“Hanson has been overlooked in the UK for many years and has suffered from a snobbery and an embarrassment about realism in contemporary art,” stated Rebecca Lewin, a curator for the exhibition. “I don’t think that attitude changed much throughout his career so hopefully this will give him the recognition he deserves.

Children Playing Game 1979 Polyvinyl, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories The Estate of Duane Hanson P A Black © Artlyst 2015

“People want to be challenged and I think the fear is that works like this don’t challenge enough, when actually in a conceptual way these works teach us something about ourselves. You come away wondering more about the person sitting next to you on the bus, or the person that you pass on the street or even someone you see everyday that you don’t engage with.” Lewin Concluded.

Self-Portrait with Model 1979 Polyvinyl, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories The Estate of Duane Hanson P A Black © Artlyst 2015


Old Couple on a Bench 1994 Edition 1/2 (unique editions) Bronze, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories The Estate of Duane Hanson P A Black © Artlyst 2015

Queenie II 1988 Autobody filler, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories The Estate of Duane Hanson P A Black © Artlyst 2015

Man with Hand Cart 1975 Polyester resin and fibreglass, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories The Estate of Duane Hanson P A Black © Artlyst 2015

Duane Hanson - Serpentine Sackler Gallery - until 13 September 2015


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