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DIGITS || 1972

by Robert Hansen 

72" x 40"

Original, Signed, Framed in Black


"The space Hansen created in his paintings is often ambiguous. Size relationships between figures seem arbitrary or fanciful (one small figure might be superimposed on another of gigantic proportions). As one attempts to peer into these paintings, as though through a window, the space appears to recede into infinity or conversely, there is no sense of depth.


Hansen chose not to employ the usual methods of depicting deep space. Linear perspective, for example, is absent from his work. Only a shallow field of depth was introduced by the use

of overlapping shapes, thus giving the viewer the impression that some figures are positioned in front or behind others.


The overall result is a flat, graphic space. By way of contrast, while the depiction of the space is two-dimensional, the physical paint is three-dimensional. A slight shadow is cast at the edge of each shape, forming a subtle relief.


This relief is one of the most compelling qualities of Hansen's work.


Hansen's themes have to do with the fundamental elements of life (embryonic and phallic forms are present in many paintings), the paradoxes of the world, and the struggles of humanity, both singly and collectively.


There is an overwhelming sense of spirituality and symbolism that pervades his paintings, even if one is hesitant to define those symbols in a precise manner.


Hansen, in fact, regards his paintings as depictions of reality that transcend

fixed interpretations. What Hansen depicts is primal and elemental, and the cumulative total his work has the grandeur of a myth."


-Dennis Reed for NOHO MODERN

Dean of Arts || Los Angeles Valley College

November 2005 

DIGITS (1972) by Robert Hansen

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