DUANE HANSON: Housepainter I

June 29 – July 30, 2008

DUANE HANSON: Housepainter I, Van de Weghe Fine Art
July - August 2008, Installation view

DUANE HANSON: Housepainter I, Van de Weghe Fine Art
July - August 2008, Installation view

DUANE HANSON: Housepainter I, Van de Weghe Fine Art
July - August 2008, Installation view

Press Release

DUANE HANSON (1925-1996)
Housepainter I, 1984/1988
Autobody filler, polychromed in oil, mixed media with accessories
Lifesize

Van de Weghe Fine Art is pleased to present Housepainter I, 1984/1988, by Duane Hanson (1925-1996). Hanson began making hyper-realistic figurative sculptures in the 1960s. Among the first artists to work in this style, he is frequently associated with Pop Art (Nouveau Realisme), and other times with Photorealism. Modeled of resin, fiberglass and Bondo, dressed in second-hand clothing with found objects as accessories, Hanson’s sculptures were a radical return to figuration in the wake of recent abstraction. Focusing on harsh realities of American life and often-exploring socio-politically charged issues, Hanson further pushed the boundaries of contemporary art and continues to be among the most influential American sculptors.

Created as a continuation on the theme of the “painter” explored first in 1977, Housepainter I is a seminal mature work - the first in an ongoing series of sculptures in which Hanson cast his original Bondo figure (presently on view) in bronze. The resulting three works: Custodian, 1984; Window Washer, 1984; and Housepainter II, 1984, are all made from this same cast. From this time forward, Hanson worked increasingly with bronze-cast bodies as he was interested in the notion that although his bronze figures shared the same body, they could be transformed and redefined.

As was the case with all of his models, Hanson called on relatives and friends to pose for him during the often grueling process of being cast piece-by-piece, body part by body part. The model for Housepainter I, and the subsequent Custodian, Window Washer and Housepainter II, was Joe Lance, who did construction work for a close friend of the Hanson family.

In Housepainter I, Hanson captures the subject at a moment of distraction as he pauses in his work. It seems he has been painting for hours on end and that weariness prevents him from acknowledging the viewer on first approach. Hanson’s inclusion of the appropriately splattered drop cloth, soiled cans, trays and brushes add to the scene’s authenticity. Inviting us to share in a mundane moment of a workday, Hanson transforms it in such a way that it is disarming and prompts us to question what is, in fact, real and what is not; we engage most in what we do not take for granted.

Housepainter I has been widely exhibited internationally, and was notably included in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 1998 retrospective, Duane Hanson: A Survey of His Work from the 30s to the 90s.

Van de Weghe Fine Art represents the Estate of Duane Hanson. The gallery is open during the summer Monday – Friday from 10:00am – 6:00 pm, and by appointment.