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Survey of artist Armin Hansen's works on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art
Nino, c. 1919. Oil on canvas, 50 x 60 inches. Monterey Museum of Art. Gift of Jane and Justin Dart.


PASADENA, CA.- The Pasadena Museum of California Art presents Armin Hansen: The Artful Voyage , a survey of artist Armin Hansen (1886–1957), whose renowned paintings captured the raw power and vitality of the Pacific Ocean and those who sailed it. While his style is often described as impressionist, Hansen rejected Impressionism’s gentility, instead exercising a bolder palette and more rugged brushstrokes that depict humanity’s relationship with nature. This exhibition, the largest and most comprehensive ever assembled, features 100 works, including paintings displayed publicly for the first time, as well as rare examples of his hand-carved furniture and boat models.

Born in San Francisco, Hansen pursued formal training as a painter in his hometown. In late 1906, with San Francisco largely destroyed by earthquake and fire, Hansen went to Europe, studying at the Royal Academy in Stuttgart, Germany. He then spent four years in Niewpoort, Belgium, where he painted marines, village views, and fishing scenes, all the while working as a crewmember on North Sea trawlers. This early experience sparked his lifelong fascination with the sea and its people.

Hansen first visited Monterey in 1913—where he went on to spend the majority of his career—and soon began painting the area’s growing fishing community and fleet. In addition to being one of the American West’s foremost painters, he was also an accomplished etcher, a revered teacher, and a National Academician. In the West, he became the first artist to maximize the aesthetic potential of commercial fishing, his vibrant, blustery scenes depicting physical hardship while paying tribute to the bravery of the workers. Using broad masses of color in bold and dynamic compositions, he eliminated superfluous detail, creating narratives of humanity and the sea and proving, at heart, that he was a storyteller.

Armin Hansen: The Artful Voyage was organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art and curated by Scott A. Shields, Associate Director and Chief Curator at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. It will travel to the Crocker Art Museum from June 28–October 11, 2015 and then to the Monterey Museum of Art from October 29, 2015 to March 7, 2016. The exhibition is accompanied by a 280–page catalogue, published by Pomegranate Communications.






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