I Don't Like Fiction, I Like History
Gagosian is pleased to present I Don’t Like Fiction, I Like History, with works by Thomas Demand, Andreas Gursky, Duane Hanson, Sharon Lockhart, and Jeff Wall.
Using the pictorial languages of realism and illusion, the participating artists turn fragments of everyday life into legible narratives. Duane Hanson’s ensemble of construction workers at rest, Lunchbreak (1989), and a figure modeled after his own child in a quiet moment, Child with Puzzle (1978), are installed with photographic works that both reflect and complicate ideas of recorded reality and subjective, constructed composition.
Hanson’s hyperreal human figures, often in mundane situations, have been compared to Pop and to Photorealism; instantly and innately familiar, they come as close to photography as three-dimensional sculpture can. Yet in their verisimilitude, these effigies of house painters, janitors, security workers, and tourists evoke the intuitive pathos of confronting another human being. Working against the dominant trends of abstraction and Minimalism at the beginning of his career in the 1950s and ’60s, Hanson eschewed pure formalism, as the sociological aspect of art making became palpable in his work through his concentration on the bare life of his subjects. Some sculptures, such as that of a museum guard installed within a museum exhibition, deconstruct the “fourth wall” between artworks and viewer, making visceral a normally safe, insulated encounter.