Duane Hanson “Security Guard”

Gagosian Gallery Park & 75

poster for Duane Hanson “Security Guard”

This event has ended.

I want to achieve a certain tough realism which speaks of the fascinating idiosyncrasies of our times.
—Duane Hanson

Gagosian New York presents Duane Hanson’s Security Guard (1990).

In his hyper-realistic sculptures portraying working-class Americans, Hanson eschewed the predominant Expressionist and Minimalist concerns of the 1950s and 1960s for an unflinching investigation of the human condition. Early life-size tableaux depicting soldiers killed in action, police brutality, and the homeless confronted viewers with devastating truths largely overlooked in the art of the time.

Throughout his forty-year career, Hanson’s uncanny sculptural likenesses of blue-collar workers—repairmen, waitresses, and bricklayers—inhabited exhibition spaces eliciting surprise, embarrassment, amusement, and sympathy from unsuspecting viewers. Although his world-weary figures owe something to Pop and Photorealism, their veracity prompted responses from viewers normally reserved for interactions with other living people. These sculptural illusions, radical in the context of their time, anticipated the later gestures of contemporary provocateurs such as Chris Burden and Maurizio Cattelan.

The appearance of a single uniformed Security Guard—leaning against the wall of an otherwise empty storefront gallery, eyes fixed to the floor and shortwave radio in hand—refreshes and updates the visceral experience and critical relevance of Hanson’s art for our own time.



from October 30, 2014 to December 03, 2014


Duane Hanson

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