Wiegand Gallery Presents Hardy Hanson “Materials and Meaning”

Belmont, CA, March 27, 2008 — The Wiegand Gallery is proud to present the work of nationally known Santa Cruz artist, Hardy Hanson. The exhibition will display wall reliefs, sculptures, and paintings from the past fifteen years. Though perceptual in nature, Hanson’s art suggests the values, attitudes, and beliefs that define and hold us together as a society. Highly formal and abstract in conception, the viewer becomes aware of metaphors that suggest associations in the real world. Hanson states that his goal is to “create a balance caused by the visual fascination of …unusual materials and the unsettling psychological associations provoked by the presence or  ‘aura’ of the pieces.”

The three-dimensional forms titled “Unnatural Histories” combine natural and industrial materials with the idea of producing a tension stimulated by simultaneous attraction and aversion. Hanson suggests the darker side of human nature, provoking an unsettling psychological association with these pieces. Hanson has a second series of low-relief wall-mounted constructions he refers to as “Transparent Structures.” The more urban character of these pieces reminds the viewer of the values, attitudes, and beliefs that define our society.

Recent paintings explore the interaction of small fragment of color used to create the illusion of volume, light, and space without any representational references. Hanson’s use of microelements such as dots of paint, pieces of wire, pins, shards of glass or small electrical parts create a composition that addresses macro themes.  One is reminded of Seurat’s pointillism that forces the viewer’s brain to fill in the “blanks” between the microelements. This combination of styles allows the viewer to recognize patterns or shapes initially unperceived.   Hardy Hanson works simultaneously on different projects since he finds a positive synergism in this method, which allows for one piece to influence another.

Hardy Hanson taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz for 25 years. His work has been recognized in numerous one-person exhibitions at prestigious venues like the Fresno Art Museum, the Long Beach Museum of Art, Monterey Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Australia. His work is in the collection of the Hirschorn Museum and the Milwaukee Art Museum, just to name a few. A serious gardener, Hardy’s daily contact with the earth and the elements attribute to his patience and concentration, which is needed in creating these images, giving them both a meditative quality and an obsessive edge.

Hardy Hanson’s work will be on exhibition starting March 26th and runs to May 3rd.  The opening reception will be on Sunday, March 30th 2-4pm.  Admission is free.  Gallery hours are Tuesday thru Saturday 12-4pm.