Lisson Gallery is pleased to present its first exhibition with Van Hanos. The exhibition, comprised of all new paintings created in 2021, will also be the Marfa-based artist's first solo show in New York. Defined only by its forsaking of serial style or technique, Hanos's work ranges from playful, enigmatic compositions to dense, photographic paintings and psychologically gripping environments, representing the artist's mastery of his medium.
In these new works, Hanos approaches each painting as an empty vessel, each canvas a container for a different energy, way of thinking or stylistic approach. Striving to achieve new discovery through each individual painting, Hanos asks the viewer to probe the difference between that which is cognitively recognised and overtly perceived, and that which is unconsciously absorbed. Approaching his subject matter with a similar element of surrender, Hanos takes the familiar understanding of painting as a moment in time, or specific capture, and shatters it. Rather than depicting a singular representation, he paints fractured moments together in a new and unique way, viewing these collisions of various images as a more realistic depiction of the resilient nature of thought and day-to-day experience. The exhibition’s title, Conditional Bloom, also reflects this sentiment of openness and a harmonious orientation to living. It suggests that we are all in an evolving state where the human ability to contribute, to grow and blossom, is filled with as much potential as we are willing to allow.
Created over the past few months in his studio in the remote rural town of Marfa, Texas, these paintings also represent the reflections of the past year. While the world slowed down and was forced to live locally, we were left to contemplate some of the most basic universal themes of human life. Through this year of looking inward, and without the ability to gather imagery beyond his studio in the same way, Hanos initiated each painting not from a photograph or visual reference, but instead began each work with the material of a thought or emotion. The canvases that emerged thus range from highly personal image-based compositions—a moonlit battered car representing a serious accident Hanos experienced in early 2020—to highly abstracted, hypnagogic scenes of faces, foods, landscape and more. Installed alongside one another, they depict the many possibilities that arise when we allow the deconstruction of the concepts that mediate the experience of the consciousness.
Above all, Hanos’s new works ask us to break with tradition, abandon what we believe painting can be, and allow the freedom to explore other approaches, delve into the emotions at the core our being, contemplating notions of human existence.
About Van Hanos
Van Hanos’s approach to painting is best defined by its stylistic freedom and forsaking of particular modes or methods. Ranging from landscape to portraiture, beyond categorization as either figuration or abstraction, his work navigates perceptual shifts and thematic rupture. Hanos explores the tremendous range of possibilities within the human mind and experience, and his paintings can be created as meticulous oil renderings of images taken from photographs, with technical precision and photographic tendencies, or as sublime, abstracted amalgamations of past observations and ruminations, replete with internal references to other paintings or past subjects, and layered with meaning. Hanos’s work always beckons the viewer to look closer—as what one first experiences is undoubtedly bound to shift upon continued investigation.
Van Hanos (born 1979) currently lives and works in Marfa, Texas. He has a MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD, USA (2001), and an MFA from the School of the Arts at Columbia University, New York, NY, USA (2010). Recent solo exhibitions include Interiors at Château Shatto, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2020); Mommy’s Boy at Cleopatra’s, New York, NY, USA (2017); Late American Paintings at Château Shatto, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2017); Awake At The Funeral at Tanya Leighton, Berlin, Germany (2017); Van Hanos at Parapet Real Humans, St. Louis, MO, USA (2017); Intercalaris at Rowhouse Project, Baltimore, MD, USA (2016); and Van Hanos at West Street Gallery, New York, NY, USA (2011). Selected group exhibitions include A Cloth Over a Birdcage at Château Shatto, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2019); The Land That I Live In at Matthew Brown, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2019); Pine Barrens at Tanya Bonakdar, New York, NY, USA (2018); An Uncanny Likeness at Simon Lee Gallery, New York, NY, USA (2017); The Lazy Sunbathers at Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf, Germany (2015); The Ninth Season of The Artist’s Institute with Carolee Schneemann at The Artist’s Institute, New York, NY, USA (2015); and Call and Response at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, NY, USA (2015). Paintings by Hanos were featured in the group exhibition, The Rest, at Lisson Gallery New York from January–February 2019, and his work was the subject of a solo presentation at Lisson Gallery in East Hampton in August 2020. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami.
Press release courtesy Lisson Gallery.