Duane Hanson

Duane Hanson

Born in 1925, in Alexandria, Minnesota, USA. Died in 1996 in Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

 

Duane Hanson gained several fine art degrees between 1946 and 1951 and is considered master of hyper-real sculpture, alongside Ron Mueck and John de Andrea. In 1983, Florida appointed Hanson ambassador of art, and his internationally recognised work was displayed in big international exhibitions. In 1969 he settled in New York, then in Florida. He reproduced the American Way of Life through resin and glass fibre sculptures moulded on living models, depicting large-as-life human characters: obese tourists, resigned homeless people, a housewife in her fifties with an overflowing shopping trolley, a battered woman, an unemployed man on a bench: an astounding realistic mirror reflection of the most dreadful side of American everyday life. His critical and rebellious work immortalises everything that is disturbing, such as racism, poverty, old age and distress, often fuelling disgust and consternation at this revolting portrait of America. Hanson’s Hall of Fame compassionately leaves room for the fragility and resignation of American people faced with overconsumption, materialism, and the violence of contemporary society. His perfect technical skill and formidable attention to detail has shaped work with almost scientific typology, without artistic subjectivity. Particularly prolific from 1970 to 1990, he produced 174 sculptures, including 74 bronzes produced after 1984. Anti-authority at heart, militant against the Vietnam War and in opposition to Reagan’s policies, Duane Hanson has made the American Dream a hyper-real disillusion.