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Stephen Hansen

Stephen Hansen paper mache sculpture

Born: 1950, Seattle, WA
Education: Self-Taught
Sculpture: Paper mache, resin, hydrocal, bronze
Graphics: watercolor, etching, engraving


As an artist I am not an explorer of the human condition, so much as a hapless torist, making snapshots of whatever strikes my fancy. I work primarily in paper mache, the appeal of which is twofold. First, it is fast enough that I can try out ideas without any sense of commitment. Secondly, it is a material so inherently humble that I can claim to make "cultural icons" or "distilled social observations" without feeling too pretentious. Stylistically, I think of my work as lifelike rather than realistic, a choice made out of a desire to represent ideas rather than individuals. I make sculpture with the idea that it should both attract and communicate. Towards that end, I try to create art that is intellectually accessible and aesthetically seductive. I approach my workday as though I were the director of a small reparatory company, with a group of actors that I costume and coerce into the character in the story I want to tell. They tend toward overacting.


You should never trust an artist who makes an artist statement, except under duress.


Smithsonian, National museum of American History
Capitol Arts Foundation, Santa Fe, NM
Musee de Civilisation, Quebec
Byer Museum of Arts, Evanston, IL
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC
Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN
Institute of Aesthetic studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI
National Association of Homebuilders, Washington, DC
National Building Museum, Washington, DC
Town of Breckenridge, CO
United States Information Agency, Washington, DC
United States Consular Collection, BiNational Gallery, Naples Italy
United States Embassy, Caracas Residence Art Collection, Venezuela
United States Embassy, Rome, Italy


Adams National Bank, Washington, DC
AES, Washington, DC
Alo Alo, New York, NY
Amalgamated Bank, Chicago, IL
Bernstein-Rein Advertising Inc., Kansas City, MO
Borg-Warner, Chicago, IL
Canberra Industries, Inc., Meridian, CT
Capitol Center, Landover, MD
Capitol Records, Los Angeles, CA
Checker Motors, Kalamazoo, MI
Continental Air Transport, Chicago, IL
First of America Bank, Kalamazoo, MI
Flint Auto World, Flint, MI
Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI
Hechinger Company, Landover, MD
Herman Miller, Inc., Zeeland, MI, London, Paris, Toronto
Hughes Aircraft, El Segundo, CA
Jyukano Research Institute, Tokyo
Luss Kaplan, New York, NY
Mark Twain Banks, St. Louis, MO
McDonald`s Corporation, Oakbrook, IL, Toronto
Pennsylvania Power and Light, Allentown, PA
Qwest, Englewood, CO
SIT Group S.A., Luxembourg
Standard Oil of Indiana, Chicago, IL
Sterling Petroleum, Detroit, MI
Upjohn Pharmaceutical, Kalamazoo MI
WDIV, Detroit, MI