Duane Hanson - 20th C. & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The Artist
    Hanson Collection, Davie (acquired by descent from the above)
    Gagosian Gallery, New York
    Karma, New York (acquired from the above)
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Duane Hanson: A Master Returns, September 2 – December 2, 1998
    Copenhagen, ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst; Helsinki City Art Museum; UNESCO Kulturerbe Völklingen, Duane Hanson: Sculptures of the American Dream, January 27, 2007 - April 27, 2008, no. 100/1, p. 177 (illustrated)
    New York, Karma at Independent Projects, Duane Hanson, Flea Market Lady, November 6 - 9, 2014, n.p. (illustrated)

  • Literature

    Thomas Buchsteiner and Otto Letze, eds., Duane Hanson: More than Reality, Ostfildern-Ruit, 2001, no. 1001/1, p. 177 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Transforming the environment in which it sits, Duane Hanson’s Flea Market Lady, 1990, depicts an eerily lifelike scenario. In perfecting the most minute particularities of his work, Hanson was a sculptor considered to have been operating within the photorealistic realm, whose reaction-inducing oeuvre is exquisitely unlike those of his 20th century counterparts. Cast from hand-chosen human models, painted with skin-toned polychrome and outfitted in actual clothes, Hanson’s seductively deceptive sculptures are divested of any obvious artist intervention.

    In an effort to cast light on the working-class population, Hanson exclusively represented the routinely forgotten and oftentimes disenfranchised members of society. As the son of a farmer growing up in small-town Minnesota, Hanson was intimately familiar with the livelihoods of America’s middle class and succeeded in illuminating their relatively mundane routines. Shown in her natural habitat, the subject of Flea Market Lady sits among her strewn-about garments supposedly being offered for sale, reading celebrity gossip in a lackadaisical posture unwelcoming of any potential customers. Hanson asserted that “the best sculptures should look unposed and appear totally unobserved” (Duane Hanson, quoted in Duane Hanson, exh. cat., The Saatchi Gallery, London, 1997, n.p.). As such, this installation candidly captures a mundane moment - one most common to ordinary life, but most readily overlooked. Hanson’s attention to these undervalued aspects of American life works to eliminate the cyclical generalization of the middleclass and carves a place for this population in art history. With meticulous observation to cultural tendencies and an unwavering dedication to detail, Duane Hanson has expertly combined themes of social commentary and precise sculptural artistry in Flea Market Lady.

Property from a Prominent Collection


Flea Market Lady

polychromed bronze, textile, newspaper, found objects and metal folding chair
installation dimensions variable
figure 45 x 26 x 39 in. (114.3 x 66 x 99.1 cm.)

Executed in 1990, this work is number 1 from a series of 4 unique variants.

$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $275,000

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th C. & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 13 November 2019