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Duane Hanson (American, 1925-1996)


Birth Place: Alexandria, Minnesota


Duane Hanson was an American sculptor whose life-sized, photorealistic sculptures are both familiar and entirely arresting. Hanson worked almost entirely independently of the mainstream art community, spending most of his time living in Minneapolis, Florida, and other small communities. His pieces are mainly wrought from fiberglass and vinyl, but he also worked in resin, Bondo, and bronze. 

Hanson developed his trademark figural casts after receiving his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 1951. It wouldn’t be until the late 1960s when Hanson’s work would gain notoriety for his depiction of brutality and violence in his photorealistic sculptures. These early works often incorporated social issues and had names like Race Riot (1969-1971). He would continue to explore these societal issues in his work for the next thirty years. He occasionally used his own children as models for his work. He moved to Davie, Florida in 1973 where he lived and produced art until his death in 1996. 

What type of art did Duane Hanson Create?

Duane Hanson was an American sculptor from Minnesota. He is best known for his life-sized and photo-realistic sculptures of everyday people. He used polyester, resin, fiberglass, Bondo, and even Bronze. His work is often critical of classical art and western views of representation. Hanson’s works are in the permanent collections in many of the most prestigious museums in the country including The Whitney, The San Francisco MoMA, and the Smithsonian.

How often do Duane Hanson sculptures sell at auction?

Hanson’s sculptures have come up often for auction recently, with prices for his work experiencing something of a boom. The renaissance of Hanson’s work may be due to the fact that his aesthetics and vision matching up so well with current tastes. His depiction of working-class people from all walks of life makes his pieces both familiar and unsettling. 

How much is a Duane Hanson sculpture worth?

A life-sized Duane Hanson sculpture can sell between $200,000 and $400,000. This may be a conservative estimate since Hanson is experiencing a post-humous surge in popularity. His piece Flea Market Lady (1990) is currently on sale for $750,000 after being sold for $400,000 in 2014. It’s safe to assume that Hanson’s pieces will only continue to rise in value. 

Which Duane Hanson sculpture is the most valuable? 

Duane Hanson’s sculpture, Flea Market Lady (1990) is considered his most valuable. It is currently on sale by the Gagosian Gallery (as of 2019) for $750,000. It had previously been priced at $400,000 only five years prior at the New York’s Independent Fair. The sculpture depicts a woman, seated, with a cheeky yellow visor and a Florida T-shirt. 

What are the most famous sculptures by Duane Hanson? 

Several of Duane Hanson’s photorealistic sculptures are either on display or in the collections of many of the most prestigious museums around the world. Some of his most representative works include Supermarket Lady (1969), Tourists II (1988), Young Shopper (1973), and Woman Eating (1971). Perhaps his most famous piece is Flea Market Lady (1990), currently on sale at the Gagosian Gallery. 

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