First of all I want to let all of you know that Lonnie Hanzon will be speaking in the Mixed Taste Series at the DCPA on July 17th. For more information and to buy tickets go to https://www.denvercenter.org/tickets-events/mixed-taste/.
And a Big Thanks to those of you that donated to fund this year’s public art work at Denver Pridefest – Stonewall 50: Progress and Reflection.
One of the best parts of my career - whether working at a museum, running a gallery, or being the Director of The Hanzon Foundation - has always been handling and hanging original art. For me it is like planning the seating chart at a wonderful dinner party. I love to create conversations between the paintings and drawings, finding a common language of color, shape, or form. The best pairings are ones that make a viewer’s eyes travel back and forth between art works. One where you don’t necessarily need to have studied art to see and feel the connections – your eyes see and understand the dialogue they are witnessing.
Here is a very basic example and one that the young students I taught this spring often noticed. (Image 1/Paper Doll Prince & 2/Viatica Contemporania) While the use of Gold is definitely similar in both images, it is typically the divided face topped with a crown peering out of both art works which gets noticed. And when you add that Lonnie started both works using the same technique to gain greater access to his imagination, it makes it even more interesting that similar images repeat themselves. (For more information on this technique go to Projects & Art.)
Of course color is often the most uniting element and one which everyone can discuss and have opinions about. We all choose colors every day to wear, ride in, live in, and sleep in. Sometimes you are drawn to a work of art simply because of the color.
The dark blue, starry backgrounds in these two artworks are practically the same, but it is the additional use of pink and gold sculptural elements which really creates a buzz between the two. Place the warrior figure facing the other image, and you find your own eyes following his gaze to the opposite lower figure. (Image 3/Decorated Warrior & 4/Lighting the Shrine)
Sometimes a work of art can be a bit of a diva! Maybe it is large in scale or powerful in color or composition and it simply needs a little space around it – imagine a multi-lingual Broadway Star entering a room.
This wonderful work by Lonnie is large, much larger than most of the pieces in the From the Chest series and seems to encompass everything that hangs around her. She can clearly converse with the gold elements, she can speak with the architectural elements, she stands like a true Royal Highness of the wonderful, imaginative land that she rules, and with the sweetest face! (Image 5/Princess)
So look around your own home and see how your art dinner party is going. Are they having engaging and thoughtful conversations with each other? The two artworks that I first discussed are having a lovely chat in my home with an Alexander Calder poster, a drawing by local artist Charles Parson, and a small encaustic by Carolyn Berry. (Image 6)