Dimension Five by Hansen

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March 12, 2013 by smithartonline

Hansen Painting

Dimension Five is a painting by Bob Hansen done in 1972. He gave this piece to me upon his retirement in the 1980s and it has been with me since then, first in my studio, then in my home.

I was a student of his during the late 1960s and the early 1970s, and remember meetings in his campus studio where he completed his work, including this particular painting. It is Duco paint on Masonite. As a student in Mexico, his teachers challenged the American students to research the technological advances in the United States and adapt them to their art. Bob found the technology in the automotive industry. For most of his art making life, he continued to use the paint developed to paint automobiles.

This work is unusual in that he was experimenting with a three dimensional presentation: he only did a few works in this mode, he then returned to a flatter image. The painting measures 40 X 72 inches, which seems phenomenally large to me, but pretty much a standard size for Bob to work at. The surface is very sculptural, almost an embossed effect created by the layers of paint. In fact, Bob invited people to touch the work and enjoy a tactile experience as well as a visual one.

A few years ago Noho Gallery put up a nice retrospective show of his work, and it is still available on the internet at http://www.nohomodern.com.

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