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  • Art Hansen
  • Art Hansen

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.

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...

-Paige McCray, Davidson Galleries

Read more from Art Hansen's Artist Feature here.
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264 works

264 works