Under the auspices of a so-called “signature style,” some artists hit upon a single method or theme and repeat it into oblivion. Van Hanos, notably, is not one of them. In “Conditional Bloom,” the artist’s first solo show with Lisson Gallery, Hanos shows dozens of new paintings, unified only by the artist’s promiscuous yet unmistakable sensibility.
The works on view result from Hanos’s philosophy of painting as a container for an aura, a set of emotions, or an atmosphere. For him, painting is a medium which induces in the viewer a feeling or a sense, a heartbeat before the conscious mind catches up. Often, this effect is achieved by splicing together different depictions or painterly moments in surprising and innovative ways. See, for instance, the dense and carnivalesque Big A, Little a (2021), in which a tapestry of faces and figures, some masked, some clownish, are oriented in different directions upon a refracted red and yellow background.
Contrast this with the stately Talia Chetrit carrying Roman (2021), in which the photographer is seen at a low angle, lounging Odalisque-like on a leopard-print ottoman she herself has photographed, looking angelic and ethereal, the brushstrokes buttery, the colors crisp. Or, indeed, a series of four intimately-scaled canvases which depict snippets of pairs of hands, iterated within and across canvases—in one hauntingly blurred, as if seen through fogged glass, in another rendered with quick, approximating strokes, layered and colorful—as if the very illustration of the sorts of wonders their subject is capable of.
Van Hanos, Swan, 2021. Oil on linen, 20 x 24 inches. © Van Hanos. Courtesy Lisson Gallery