Life-Like Sculptures Almost Too Real
Duane Hanson: Portraits from the Heartland Exhibition at the Ringling Museum
April 30 – July 31, 2005
SARASOTA, Fla. – April 1, 2005 – A groundbreaking exhibition of 22 “size of life” sculptures by social realist, Duane Hanson opens April 30 at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and continues through July 31, 2005.
Duane Hanson: Portraits from the Heartland is the first large-scale showing of Hanson's work to focus primarily on the sculptor's Midwestern upbringing and its influence on his artistic vision. Organized by the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, N.D., the exhibition includes sculptures from the collections of Hanson's widow, Wesla Hanson and collector David Gossoff.
As a social realist, Duane Hanson (1925-1996) took sculpture off the pedestal, removed the boundaries that separate art from life, and created a realism that compels us to take a closer look at our neighbors and ourselves.
"The sculptures by Duane Hanson are uncanny in their realism and careful detailing of everyday life. They surprise us with the commonplace, and by placing the sculptures in a museum (which is their intended venue), Hanson turns inside out our notions of high art," said Ringling Associate Curator Joanna Weber.
Though Hanson lived and worked in the cowboy community of Davie, Fla., he was born and raised in the agrarian culture of rural Minnesota. It was this upbringing that shaped his moral character and instilled in him the value of hard work and the importance of community. He recognized and admired ordinary people, such as laborers and the elderly, whom he believed had been marginalized by society. Through his art he sought to make the general public aware of their presence and contribution to society, according to Dr. Erika Doss, author of Duane Hanson: Portraits from the Heartland.
Duane Hanson: Portraits from the Heartland exhibition opens to the public Saturday, April 30, 2005, with a Membership preview on the preceding Friday, April 29. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., seven days a week.
The effect of Hanson's Midwestern roots on his interpretation of social realist art will be explored on the exhibition's opening day when Dr. Erika Doss, Professor of Art History at the University of Colorado, Boulder, presents the Ringling ViewPoints Lecture at 10:30 a.m. at the adjacent Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts. Lecture tickets are $15 for Museum Member and $12 for non-members, and are available by calling 941.358.3180. On that same day, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, the Ringling Education Department will host a Saturday for Educators Staring: The Hyper-Real Sculpture of Duane Hanson. Florida teachers can reserve a seat for the workshop by contacting Nicole Crane, Associate Curator of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org .
General Admission includes the special exhibition, Ringling Museum of Art,
Cà d'Zan mansion, Circus Museum, Rose Garden, and 66 acres of lushly landscaped grounds. Adults are $15; senior citizens (65 and over) and Military are $12. Free Admission for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult, Museum Members, and Florida students and teachers with valid ID cards. Advance Tickets are recommended: 941.358.3180.
The Museum's exhibitions and programs are made possible in part through support by the Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax through the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Arts Council; the State of Florida, Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Arts Council; and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership, and a lifetime of learning. Related educational programs received additional support from The Cowles Charitable Trust and The New York Times Company Foundation on the recommendation of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Florida State University, is the state art museum of Florida. It preserves, develops, and enhances the legacy of John and Mable Ringling and engages and educates a large and diverse audience in a world-renowned collection of art, Cà d'Zan (the Ringlings' mansion) and its historic contents, collections documenting the circus and its history, the Historic Asolo Theater, and the architecture, courtyard, gardens, and grounds overlooking Sarasota Bay.
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