Stephen Hansen

Stephen Hansen




Artist Stephen Hansen is a Seattle native who moved to New Mexico in 1984, and has been working as a professional artist since 1968. In addition to paper mache, he works in resin, hydrocal, wood, bronze, steel and stone. Hansen has had one-man shows in commercial galleries and art museums in Detroit, Chicago, Santa Fe, Washington, Philadelphia, and New York.

His meticulous paper mache creations are known all over the world and are included in museum, corporate, private, and government collections including the New Mexico Capitol Art Collection in Santa Fe, the, The Federal Reserve and Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and United States Embassies in Naples, Italy and Caracas, Venezuela           

Artist Statement

As an artist I am not an explorer of the human condition, so much as a hapless tourist, making snapshots of whatever strikes my fancy. I work primarily in paper mache, the appeal of which is twofold. First, it is fast enough that I can try out ideas without any sense of commitment. Secondly, it is a material so inherently humble that I can claim to make "cultural icons" or "distilled social observations" without feeling too pretentious. Stylistically, I think of my work as lifelike rather than realistic, a choice made out of a desire to represent ideas rather than individuals. I make sculpture with the idea that it should both attract and communicate. Towards that end, I try to make art that is intellectually accessible and aesthetically seductive. I approach my work day as though I were the director of a small reparatory company, with a group of actors that I costume and coerce into the characters of the story I want to tell. They tend toward
over acting.

Artist Statement ll

You should never trust an artist who makes a statement, except under duress.



After taking a year off to make metal things to avoid painting, it seemed like it would be easier to learn to paint. This seemed like a good way to do that.

This project started with a "Rothko", and the notion that one's life work might have been accomplished one brilliant weekend with a roller.

What if art work really was, And paintings were done by painters?

It had never occurred to me, until I became involved in this project, to pretend to be someone else for a few days. It is a bit like a holiday, though I would recommend Gauguin over van Gogh. 



Born: 1950, Seattle, WA

Education: Self-Taught

Sculpture: Archival paper mache, resin, hydrocal, bronze, steel

Graphics: Watercolor, etching, engraving


2009 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, NM

                                                                                                                                                  SELECTED EXHIBITIONS


Water Street Gallery, Douglas, MI: 92, 95, 97, 99, 01, 02, 05, 06, 07, 09, 11, 2013 - 2019 annually

Zenith Gallery, Washington, DC: 1979, 81, 87, 88, 90, 94, 97, 99, 2001, 03, 05, 08, 12, 15, 16, 18

William & Joseph Gallery, Santa Fe, NM: 2013

Glenn Cutter Galleries, Las Cruces, NM: 1995, 97, 98, 2001, 04, 06, 08, 09, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18

Xanadu Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ: 2016, 17, 18, 19

Museum of New Mexico, Governor’s Gallery, Santa Fe, NM: 2002, Retrospective 2009

Las Cruces Museum Of Art, Las Cruces, NM: Retrospective 2009

Hallmark Gallery, San Diego, CA: 2007

Gilman Gallery, Chicago, IL: 1981, 83. 86, 88, 91, 94, 96

Gruen Galleries, Chicago, IL: 1998, 2000, 02, 04

Xochipilli Gallery, Birmingham, MI: 1976, 77, 78, 80, 82, 84, 87, 90, 93, 95

Galerie Blu, Pontiac, MI: 1998, 2000

Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN: 2002

Posner Gallery, Birmingham, MI: 2005

Hibbard McGrath Gallery, Breckenridge, CO: 1999

Rosenfeld Gallery, Philadelphia, PA: 1986, 97

Six17 Gallery, Kalamazoo, MI: 1982, 86

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI: 1975, 78, 81, Retrospective 1992




Adams National Bank, Washington, DC

AES, Washington, DC

Alo Alo, Trump Plaza, New York, NY

Amalgamated Bank, Chicago, IL

Bernstein-Rein Advertising Inc, Kansas City, MO

Borg-Warner, Chicago, IL

Canberra Industries, Inc, Meridian, CT

Capitol Center, Landover, MD

Capitol Records, Los Angeles, CA

Checker Motors, Kalamazoo, MI

Continental Air Transport, Chicago, IL

First of America Bank, Kalamazoo, MI

Flint Auto World, Flint, MI

Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI

Hechinger Company, Landover, MD

Herman Miller, Inc, Zeeland, MI, London, Paris, Toronto

Hughes Aircraft, El Segundo, CA

Luss Kaplan & Associates, Ltd, New York, NY

Mark Twain Banks, St. Louis, MO

McDonald’s Corporation, Oakbrook, IL, Toronto

Pennsylvania Power and Light, Allentown, PA

Qwest, Englewood, CO

SIT Group S.A., Luxembourg

Standard Oil of Indiana, Chicago, IL

Sterling Petroleum, Detroit, MI

Upjohn Pharmaceutical, Kalamazoo MI

WDIV, Detroit, MI




Smithsonian, National Museum of American History

Capitol Arts Foundation, Santa Fe, NM

Byer Museum of Arts, Evanston, IL

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC

Federal Reserve Board, Washington DC

Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN

Institute of Aesthetic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI

Las Cruces Museum of Art, Las Cruces, NM

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, Kalamazoo, MI

Meadowbrook Theater, Rochester, MI

Musee de la Civilisation, Quebec

National Association of Homebuilders, Washington, DC

National Building Museum, Washington, DC

Town of Breckenridge, CO

United States Information Agency, Washington, DC

United States Consular Collection, BiNational Gallery, Naples Italy

United States Embassy, Caracas Residence Art Collection, Venezuela

United States Embassy, Rome, Italy

United States Interest Section, Havana, Cuba

Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI




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