Featured Artist | Art Hansen

Featured Artist | Art Hansen


Red Poppy by Art Hansen - Davidson Galleries

Art Hansen,  Red Poppy. Watercolor.


Davidson Galleries is pleased to share new additions of etchings and watercolor paintings from Pacific Northwest artist, Art Hansen. These works show a wide range of Hansen’s most iconic imagery: poppies, roses, gardens, and ponds. Taken directly from his everyday life on Vashon Island, small fragments of the ordinary world are crafted into epic fairy-tale scenes in Hansen's hands.
Early Spring 1988 by Art Hansen - Davidson Galleries

Art Hansen, Early Spring 1988. Etching.


The Pond by Art Hansen - Davidson Galleries

Art Hansen, The Pond. Etching.


Ever the comic hero, Hansen uses twists and turns to capture attention and provoke a smile. Asparagus stalks become a massive forest with proportions akin to Jack and the Beanstalk. A rose is a web of menacing stems and thorns like the thorny hedges that separate Sleeping Beauty from her prince. A poppy is not a sweet decoration but instead a stunning, blood red spectacle, overwhelming its frame.


Poppy 1994 #3 by Art Hansen - Davidson Galleries

Art Hansen, Poppy 1994 #3. Etching.


Published by the Associated American Artists in 1975, The Pond is a Northwest story on its own. A humble pond as titled, the landscape is inhabited by such exciting characters as clumps of grass, varied trees, and a distant cabin, which come to life against all odds thanks to Hansen's carefully textured, etched lines and composition. Invested in making fine art affordable to the general public, AAA operated from 1934 to 2000 and published limited-edition prints of etchings and lithographs by American artists, such as this one. While Hansen was a longtime pillar of the Northwest arts community, this piece represents his recognition by and concern for the larger world of art collectors and lovers.


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Art Hansen (American, 1929-2017) was born in Vashon Island, Washington in 1929. A life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest, Hansen graduated from the University of Washington in 1952. The following year, his first solo exhibition was held at the Seattle Art Museum and he won a Pulitzer Prize. He was also awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Munich Academy of the Arts. In 1957, Hansen earned his MFA from the University of Minnesota. He returned to Vashon Island, built a house using boards from the old farmhouse on his property, and grew a garden with his wife, Gerda. Later, his architect son designed them a more modern home and studio on the island.


Known for his etchings as well as watercolor paintings, ink drawings, and more, Hansen’s work often depicts the ponds, forests, and faces from his Northwest community. His unique perspective on rural life and his playful character are reflected in hidden figures, exaggerated flowers, and uncanny vegetables. A key member of the arts community, he was a founding member of the Vashon Arts League which became the Vashon Center for the Arts. Hansen passed away in 2017. His work is included in the collections of the New York Public Library, Seattle Art Museum, and Library of Congress, among others.