Lisson Gallery



Van Hanos

Van Hanos: Marfa studio visit

Ahead of his first exhibition with Lisson Gallery, entitled Conditional Bloom, Van Hanos opened up his studio in the remote rural town of Marfa, Texas to allow a glimpse into the thoughts and processes the paintings go through on their way to completion. Created over the past few months 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. Watch the video or see interior shots and quotes from the studio visit.

 "Marfa helps, in a way, to either engage or disengage – depending on your mental state – whatever focus you have. Last night, all the paintings needed a step back… Getting deep into the painting of it, there's this mental space that is activated through the activity of painting. Then, the last part, which is where I'm at now, is the sweet spot but it's also the hardest part. It's this moment where I can really see what it is… This time feels really free in the way of being able to make a mark and not worry about it."

 "You can have a roomful of people painting the same object, and they're all gonna make different decisions. Some of them are just accumulative. And that's interesting, but I really do love when it’s really focuses on decisions.

It became clear to me what painting really was, was an empty vessel that you fill in... it's one vessel of that moment. But also, it's not permanent. I feel like I can take steps back and how they are actually steps forward. It really is a dialogue."

 "It's this moment where I'm in another brain. There's the painter brain, which leads into the meditative space. There's the editor, who's making a kind of larger decisions. And then there's this director space, which I've just now occupied, where all these other things have to come in. The nice part about the end of it versus the beginning is I'm able to occupy all three or more roles, whereas the beginning is almost like a child space of wonder. And then now it's like the adult realisation of what the child envisioned.

Painting is an interesting way to explore that and account for what happened."

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