Monday, May 4, 2009

Duane Hanson exhibit at Galerie Emmanual Perrotin

Pioneering “Hyperrealist” artist DUANE HANSON spent a lifetime perfecting his totally lifelike human sculptures before cancer claimed his life at age 71 in 1996. Now, in homage to the great renderer of the everyman, GALERIE EMMANUEL PERROTIN is presenting an incredible collection of some of the artist’s best work, representing everyone from skater kids to construction workers in their epic new Rue Turenne space in Paris’ 4th arrondissement.
Hanson cast his sculptures from live subjects and fabricated them using fiberglass and resin, allowing for utterly lifelike detail. Thematically, Hanson was concerned with the man on the street and sought to portray the marginalized members of society he saw around him every day: “People, workers, the elderly, all these people I see with sympathy and affection. These are the people who have fought the battle of life and who now and then show the hard work and the frustration … It’s all about human activity, it’s truth, and we all get there.” via SuperTouch
One of the first sculptural influences I can remember was a Duane Hanson installation at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport when I was about 6 or 7 years old. The sculpture was of a photographer crouching down and poised to take a picture. I stood out of the photographers line of site for about 5 whole minutes before I realized that the photographer was actually just a sculpture.
I also remember hearing countless stories from my high school art teacher, Mrs. Goldenberg (aka Mrs. G), who happened to be a close friend of Duane's, how crazy his work studio was and how he had fallen ill due to years of inhaling toxic chemicals which he used to make his sculptures. I was heavy into graffiti at that point in my life and I guess the reason she told me these stories about Duane, besides the fact that they were crazy interesting, was to warn me about inhaling hazardous aerosol fumes while doing graffiti. I don't usually go in with too many personal stories when I do these posts but Duane's influence on me was such that it would be disrespectful not to. For it was my first encounter with one of Duane Hanson's sculptures that would forever change the way I looked at the world. How a person could pay so much attention to detail still puts me in awe and I have to attribute that influence (on me) to him.
Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin

76, rue de Turenne
75003 Paris, France
+33 1 42 16 79 79

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