Duane Hanson: ‘An artist tailor-made for the age of the selfie’

There are some creators who died too early, who never lived to see their work get the attention it deserved. Van Gogh comes to mind, as does F Scott Fitzgerald – and Duane Hanson. Hanson created hyperrealist figurative work at a time when it was academically anathema. His sculptures were enormously popular with the public and this also made him critically suspect, a fact of which he was well aware. To be underrated because of transient political fashions left Hanson without a full sense of artistic community, and this feeling of isolation is in evidence in his work, particularly in the solo figures created in the last two decades before his death in 1996. Their loneliness is almost achingly beautiful, and is reminiscent of a fellow American unique, Edward Hopper.

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