The haunting life-like sculptures of Duane Hanson still shock and surprise today.
For more than 30 years, Mr. Hanson created works unparalleled in their power to hold our attention, fool our eyes, confound our sense of perception, and shake our sensibilities.
The exhibition, opening Friday, Dec. 7, and continuing through April 7 at the Museum of Florida Art in DeLand, was organized with the assistance of the artist's wife, Wesla Hanson. It is comprised of 10 of his extraordinary sculptures, ranging from works in the 1970s of his children -- "Child with Puzzle" and "Children Playing" -- to classic 1980s sculptures of working class figures, such as "Security Guard" and "Housepainter I," as well as the last sculpture Mr. Hanson completed in 1995, "Man on Mower."
Mr. Hanson's sculptures are rendered in fiberglass, polyvinyl, auto body filler and bronze. But whatever the medium, they combine the physical and psychological,
Although Hanson began making hyperrealistic sculptures in 1967, it wasn't until 1977 that he started to take instant photographs as a sketching tool for his sculptures. The photographs are a window into the mind of the sculptor's obsessive journey into hyperrealism. Close to 1,000 photographs were found in his studio -- a virtual "sketchbook" used by Hanson for selecting posture, placement and props for his models and works in progress.
The museum's exhibition is accompanied by 75 "unknown" Kodak and Polaroid instant prints intended as visual assists during the making of his sculpture. As a multi-snapshot series, the photographs add an eerie dimension to Mr. Hanson's now-famous sculpture, while bringing into question the relationship between photography, sculpture, art and life.
The Museum of Florida Art is at 600 N. Woodland Blvd. DeLand. For more information, call
386) 734-4371 or visit MuseumofFloridaArt.org.