Woman with Dog

Whichever way you look at her she seems as real as the woman next door. Well, perhaps not Manhattan next door but a smaller city or town like, for instance, my other adoptive home Brussels. She could definitely be the lady that runs the bakery on the ground floor in my building in Brussels.

And yet, although the artist worked on real models making casts directly from their bodies, his sculptures are not really images of specific people. For example, the letters on her lap are addressed to Minnie Johnson, but the model was someone else who lived near Hanson’s studio in Florida. Woman with Dog is therefore a hyper-real figure constructed from different features and, because of that, doubly real in my eyes.

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Duane Hanson
Woman with Dog, 1977

Acrylic and oil on cast polyvinyl with clothing, hair, eyeglasses, watch, shoes, upholstered wood chair, dog hair, leather collar, woven rug, postcard, letters, and envelopes

The Whitney Museum of American Art

September 10th, 2016

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