Hanson began making startlingly lifelike sculptures of middle America back in the 1970’s. He accomplished these amazing feats through a complex process of casting from live models, recreated in bronze or fiberglass resin.
When describing this sculpture the artist stated: ‘I like the physical burdens this woman carries. She is weighted down by all of her shopping bags and purchases, and she has become almost a bag herself. She carries physical burdens – the burdens of life, of everyday living. But initially, it’s quite a funny sculpture’.
Queenie can be understood on one level as the personification of all those resigned-looking women who drag their bodies around in pursuit of the mess created by the rest of us. But we are made to confront the fact that such women, who are usually invisible and ignored, are not just faceless domestics.
Hanson was born in 1925 in small city in Minnesota. He received his BA at Macalester College in Minnesota and his MFA at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. As he was in school and later professing abroad, he began sculpting in his signature realistic style.
While teaching in Munich, Germany, he came into contact with the philosophy of the Post Expressionists. He would later be considered to be a Verist, a movement of Post Expressionism who , as described by the art historian Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, “… tear the objective form of the world of contemporary facts and represent current experience in its tempo and fevered temperature.” As such, his focus turned to creating his accurate, surreal recreations of regular people.
Duane Hanson died on January 6th, 1996.
To get a better idea of how realistic his sculptures are, it helps to watch this video of some of his work. If you subscribe to this blog via email and can't see the video, please CLICK HERE:
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