Gaylen Hansen retrospective in Seattle

Gaylen Hansen: Three Decades of Paintings,” curated by Keith Wells. Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA. Through Jan. 6. Organized by the Museum of Art at Washington State University, Pullman, WA. See images of his work.

A retrospective of Washington-based painter Gaylen Hansen features more than 30 paintings drawn from public and private collections. Hansen first came to the attention of the art world during the heyday of neo-expressionism in the late 1970s. His paintings, sometimes compared to Morandi’s still lifes for their painterliness, are humorous and dreamlike, populated by animals, insects, trout, and a cowboy named Kernal Bentleg. In the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Regina Hackett is charmed by Hansen’s work. “Seattle’s art museums rarely give Northwest artists solo shows and almost never mount retrospectives. Taking their cues from their audiences, museums here would rather bloom where they’re not planted….Using mostly oils and rarely extending his painted ground beyond a grown man’s hand span, he staples his canvases onto a wall, rips them off when he’s done and considers them finished without frames. His colors are orchestrated, but he makes a fetish out of flatness. Like Japanese scroll painters, he conveys distance in layers.” Read more.

The Stranger’s Jen Graves says “Gaylen Hansen’s irrepressible retrospective is gooey with presence. The only people who will get nothing from this show are the ones with a constitutional disdain for paint.” Read more.

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