The American sculptor Duane Hanson (1925–1996) is best known for his life-size sculptures of people. Hanson was fascinated by people, and the human figure was the most important theme of his work. Through the human figure he was able to express everything he wanted.
Hanson was influenced by the direct realism of 1960s Pop Art. He made casts of live models and experimented with materials such as polyester resin, fibreglass and auto-body filler. He made casts from live models, tinted the figures with skin-coloured paint, put clothes on them and hair on their head and added everyday things to them as props to create super-realistic sculptures. Yet Hanson's aim was not to copy real people, but to depict typical humans and humanity in general.
In his earlier work, Hanson often depicted victims: a woman who died following an abortion, wounded soldiers, bodies mangled in car accidents, down-and-outs, victims of murder and rape. His arresting works were powerful comments on the injustices of American society: violence in the streets, poverty, hypocrisy and the war in Vietnam.
From the 1970s onwards, Hanson concentrated on depicting ordinary people. People of different professions, tourists, a woman pushing a shopping trolley and an overweight man listening to a Walkman, all the figures seemed lost in their thoughts and lonely. Hanson felt it was important to side with these people and to show his compassion above all to those who had fallen from the frenetic flywheel of modern society.
The exhibition is produced by the Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen. It is curated by Maria Espinosa.