Duane Hanson’s hyperrealistic sculptures portraying working-class Americans eschewed the predominant expressionist and Minimalist concerns of the 1950s and 1960s for an unflinching investigation of the human condition. Early life-size tableaux depicting soldiers killed in action, police brutality, and the homeless confronted viewers with devastating truths largely overlooked in the art of the time. Throughout his forty-year career, Hanson populated exhibition spaces with uncanny sculptural likenesses of blue-collar workers—repairmen, waitresses, and bricklayers—that elicited surprise, embarrassment, amusement, and sympathy from unsuspecting viewers. Although his world-weary figures owe certain qualities to Pop and Photorealism, their veracity prompts responses normally reserved for interactions with other living people. These sculptural illusions, radical in the context of their time, anteceded the later gestures of contemporary provocateurs such as Chris Burden, Maurizio Cattelan, and Fred Wilson.
Hanson was born in 1925 in Alexandria, Minnesota, and died in 1996 in Boca Raton, Florida. He received a BA from Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota, and an MA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Selected solo exhibitions include Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (1975); Des Moines Art Center (1977); Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (1978); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1979); Kunsthaus Wien, Vienna (1992); Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1994, traveled to Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas); Daimaru Museum, Tokyo (1995, traveled to Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Kagawa, Japan, and Kintetsu Museum, Osaka, Japan); Saatchi Gallery, London (1997); Duane Hanson: A Survey of His Work from the ’30s to the ’90s, Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1998, traveled to Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis); Duane Hanson: More than Reality, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany (2001, traveled to Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy; Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands; Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh; and Kunsthaus Zürich); Duane Hanson: A Midwestern Perspective, Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio (2004); Duane Hanson: Real Life, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania (2006); Sculptures of the American Dream, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria (2009, traveled to ARKEN—Museum for Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen, Helsinki City Art Museum, UNESCO Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte, Völklingen, Germany, and Fundación Canal, Madrid); Duane Hanson, Serpentine Galleries, London (2015); and Duane Hanson Polaroids: 1979–1994, Aperture Foundation, New York (2017).
I Don’t Like Fiction, I Like History
Duane Hanson with Thomas Demand, Andreas Gursky, Sharon Lockhart, and Jeff Wall
September 5–28, 2018
Duane Hanson, Taryn Simon, Jeff Wall
Thursday, August 20, 2020, 5pm EDT
Join Gagosian for a trio of online presentations to learn about the ways Duane Hanson, Taryn Simon, and Jeff Wall approach photography as a generative practice and notions of truth and reality. Andy Avini will explain how Hanson’s figures take on new meaning in a photographic context, Louise Neri will speak about the intersection of photography in Simon’s multidisciplinary practice, and Graham Dalik will discuss how Wall changes photography’s relationship to truth through influence from other art forms. To join, register at zoom.us.
Jeff Wall, Pawnshop, 2009 © Jeff Wall
Thursday, March 5, 2020, 6:30pm
Gagosian, Britannia Street, London
Join Gagosian for a tour of the group exhibition American Pastoral. The show juxtaposes modern and contemporary works with historical American landscapes ranging from Albert Bierstadt’s depiction of the sublime in Sunset over the River (1877) to Edward Hopper’s tranquil seaside scene, Gloucester Harbor (1926). Gagosian’s Alice Godwin will focus on a select grouping of exhibited works that seek to challenge the idealized vision of the American Dream that has long been a rich topic of inquiry for artists in the United States. To attend the free event, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited.
Installation view, American Pastoral, Gagosian, Britannia Street, London, January 23–March 14, 2020. Artwork, left to right: © Theaster Gates, © Adam McEwen, Thomas Moran, © Richard Prince, © Banks Violette, © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Lucy Dawkins
The Extreme Present
Opening reception: Tuesday, December 3, 5–8pm
December 4–8, 2019
Moore Building, Miami
Gagosian is pleased to announce The Extreme Present, the fifth in a series of annual exhibitions at the Moore Building in the Miami Design District during Art Basel Miami Beach, presented by Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch. The Extreme Present will explore artists’ reactions to the conditions of our accelerating and increasingly complex world. The title is inspired by The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, a book by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, published in 2015. Their provocative thesis addresses the rapidly evolving digital era, half a century after Marshall McLuhan’s groundbreaking study on technology’s influence on culture, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, in which he coined the phrase “the medium is the message.” Works in this exhibition explore concepts of media, communication, togetherness, and isolation.
The Extreme Present
Through October 24, 2021
Boghossian Foundation, Brussels
From early European and Middle Eastern artifacts to modern and contemporary works, icons have inspired many believers, as well as artists, throughout the ages. This exhibition explores how spiritual dimensions have been incorporated into artworks from antiquity to the present day. Work by Michael Craig-Martin, Ellen Gallagher, Douglas Gordon, Duane Hanson, Titus Kaphar, and Andy Warhol is included.
Ellen Gallagher, Untitled, 2000 © Ellen Gallagher
March 22–November 4, 2020
Punta della Dogana, Venice
Conceived and curated by Thomas Houseago, Muna El Fituri, and Caroline Bourgeois, Untitled, 2020 places into dialogue works in a broad range of media by more than sixty artists held by the Pinault Collection, international museums, and private collections. The exhibition centers around a re-creation of Houseago’s studio in Tadao Ando’s cube room, in the heart of Punta della Dogana. Work by Ellen Gallagher, Duane Hanson, Mike Kelley, Henry Moore, and Nam June Paik is included.
Installation view, Untitled, 2020, Punta della Dogana, Venice, March 22–December 13, 2020. Artwork © Thomas Houseago. Photo: Marco Cappelletti/DSL Studio
Duane Hanson in
Hyperrealistic Sculpture. Almost Alive
November 29, 2018–March 10, 2019
Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan
Hyperrealistic Sculpture. Almost Alive gives an overview of hyperrealism as a movement over the past fifty years. The exhibition traces this art from the 1960s to the present, but also shows that the depictions of human physicality are always influenced by the respective zeitgeist of their time. This show was initially produced under the title Almost Alive: Hyperrealistic Sculptures in Art by the Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany. Work by Duane Hanson is included.
Duane Hanson, Bodybuilder, 1990 © 2019 Estate of Duane Hanson/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Duane Hanson in
Almost Alive: Hyperrealistic Sculptures in Art
July 21–October 21, 2018
Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany
Almost Alive: Hyperrealistic Sculptures in Art gives an overview of hyperrealism as a movement over the past fifty years. The exhibition traces this art from the 1960s to the present, but also shows that the depictions of human physicality are always influenced by the respective zeitgeist of their time. Work by Duane Hanson is included.
Installation view, Almost Alive: Hyperrealistic Sculptures in Art, Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany, July 21–October 21, 2018. Artwork © Estate of Duane Hanson/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Ulrich Metz