Larger image unavailable

Duane Hanson (American, 1925–1996)
Janitor, 1973
Polyester, fiberglass, and mixed-media
65 1/2 × 28 × 22 in. (166.37 × 71.12 × 55.88 cm)
Gift of Friends of Art M1973.91
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
© Estate of Duane Hanson/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Currently on View

Duane Hanson is well known for his hyper-realistic figures made of polyester and cast fiberglass enhanced by real clothing, accessories, and props. The realism of his sculptures draws the viewer in for a closer look and links Hanson with the Photorealist painters who also explored methods of copying as a form of image-making. Hanson’s intent, however, was not merely to reproduce reality but also to comment on the human condition. His subjects are ordinary people leading unremarkable lives—a cleaning lady, a woman shopping, a museum guard. The artist’s desire to infuse an emotional quality into his figures is evident in the Janitor. The humpbacked figure dressed in his work clothes leans against the nearest support and stares downward with one hand on his hip. His blank expression signifies resignation and the hopelessness of those caught in the daily grind.

This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.