Van Hanos: Conditional Bloom
30 June – 13 August 2021
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 recognized 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.
Watch a video of Hanos in the studio here.
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