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Gaylen Hansen

Linda Hodges Gallery, Seattle
Nov 1, 2001 - Dec 22, 2001


Gaylen Hansen, Kernal with Black Dog (2001),
oil on canvas

In this exhibition at Linda Hodges Gallery Gaylen Hansen presents large-scale oils and works on paper. In conjunction with this exhibition a new book on the life and work of Hansen will be published by University of Washington Press. Essayist Vicki Halper gives readers insight into Hansen's development from an abstract painter to a fabulist, and documents previously unpublished biographical details.

Gaylen Hansen's childhood experiences have helped shape the expression of this artist's world and the whimsical stories that are depicted in his paintings. Growing up on a farm in Utah, many naturalistic elements have taken root in Hansen's work. Now, as a longtime resident of Palouse county in Eastern Washington, the landscape continues to shape his work. His inspirations are those of red grasshoppers, dreams, leaping fish, archaic dogs, tulips, volcanic eruptions, campfires, rocks and cowboys on horseback. With his unusual juxtapositions, vibrant colours and the animated scale of Hansen's characters, his paintings provide a playful commentary on what lurks in the natural world.

In Hansen's world mystery, danger, and tall tales with surprising, comical twists unfold. His works become allegories, adventures and quests stemming from his relationship to the region. Hansen's perspective is witty and eccentric. From this artist's viewpoint, the accepted hierarchy of the world is turned upside down. In spite of this view, Hansen finds the inspirations for his paintings to be relatively down-to-earth, also embracing such things as good friends, love, and life's unusual scenarios.

© Allyn Cantor