ARTIST STATEMENT: Wendy Hansen’s provocative, expressive and unconventional figurative drawings, sculptures and monumental portraits expertly convey complex, conflicting, raw human emotions. Striving to achieve the bold immediacy of sketching on a massive scale, she employs broad, loose, textured strokes, leaving room for suggestive interpretation.
Hansen states, “I am drawn to the specific, unspoken story that every person expresses, unknowingly, through their gestures, their expressions, the way they move. What is it, exactly, that allows us to recognize a particular person from a great distance away? And what is it, conveyed through a subtle facial expression, that reveals the mysterious depths of that specific person?” Capturing the specificity of each subject’s essence is what Hansen does best - it is precisely this specificity that attracts a broad range of people to identify with her compelling work.
Her recent work, entitled, “Transition Series”, is a collection of monumental portraits. Each face seems caught between two separate worlds, divided by a vaporous veil or translucent screen that distances the subject from a certain longing, a dream, or a poignant memory. For example, in “Grace II”, an aged woman gazes out through a woven transparency, eyes fixed upon something no longer within her grasp. In “Immigrante”, a boy looks suspiciously, longingly, eagerly toward his new culture. And in "Dreamer", lost in thought, a young man contemplates what he feels is an unreachable dream. In this series, Hansen enlarges her original drawings, transferring them to canvas or linen in grid patterns, resulting in a rich texture of rubbed paper, softening and partially obscuring the monumental image.