At this past October’s Art SV/SF Fair in Silicon Valley, artist jd Hansen’s “Valley of the Sunrise” consistently drew a crowd, positioning Christian Hohmann Fine Art as a central component within the four-day event. The commandeering sculpture featured a life-sized, pale grey-colored, bronze horse walking out from beneath a blanket compiled of strands of cursive, metal words. The jumbled letters hung heavy as did the horse’s head symbolizing the ever presence of one’s thoughts and their impact on our lives. Simultaneously, the horse’s forward motion hinted at the endurance, strength and perseverance of the human spirit, even amidst the sometimes, chaotic noise in our minds.
“Valley of the Sunrise” is one of four new pieces of Hansen’s that reflect her ongoing progression as an artist. The American born sculptor has been widely known for figurative, visual representations of how a person’s inner world is oftentimes betrayed by body language and physicality. In previous work this was revealed through subtleties such as a tilt of the head or drop of a shoulder to expose whether her subject was at peace or in turmoil. Articulating further along this thread, the new work transforms these concepts from the realm of the personal into the universal. They enlarge the artist’s voice from a perspective on the individual to a more universal human condition.
This can also be seen in “Barrier Meditation,” which evokes a sense of contemplation and protection. The same metal text seen in “Valley of the Sunrise” forms a transparent veil above a woman’s head, falling in tendrils down beyond her shoulders. This shield of consciousness connotes the invisible barriers of thought each of us cloak ourselves within.
In “Quantum Entanglement” we view two figures entwined. Ribbons of words hold them together, imparting the interlacing of relationship and the communication held within. The text reaches upward, attempting to grow into something larger than them both.
Finally, in “When the Clouds Part” we see the search for truth, symbolically delivered via a horse on a pedestal parting a sea of words. Not attached to the text, as in the other three works, our subject has stripped itself bare from the influence of thoughts and stands in its original form, unencumbered and free. This is the only work in the series made out of stainless steel as opposed to bronze because it is a material that doesn’t change over time much like the essence of truth. The horse in this work is reminiscent of one of Hansen’s earlier pieces, which marked a breakthrough at the beginning of her career.
It has been a continual and constantly expanding journey for the artist, whose early education included a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and hands on foundry training in bronze and metalworking. She has been included in many exhibitions throughout the United States. Her sculptures appear in various public and private collections including the Davis Brown Tower and World Food Museum in Des Moines, Iowa, Seven Bridges Foundation in Greenwich, Connecticut and a permanent installation at a five star Taiwanese resort.