Born 1943 in Chicago, IL
Lives and Works in Chicago, IL
Long associated with the Chicago Imagists—painters known for using vibrant colors and surreal subject matter inspired by popular imagery—Philip Hanson has over the past fifteen years made work that brings together dense, richly colored patterns with excerpts from poems, primarily from the Romantic era. He depicts the words in conjunction with his interpretation of their spirit or energy to create a diagram of the poem. By employing such techniques of poetry as tone, rhythm, and symbolic imagery, Hanson transposes language to the pictorial space of painting. Included in the 2014 Biennial are three examples—one inspired by Emily Dickinson’s “After great pain, a formal feeling comes,” the others by William Blake’s 1794 poem “A Divine Image.” Blake’s legacy looms large in this body of work, as his own visionary prints famously combined text and image to stunning effect.
Philip Hanson’s work is on view in the Museum’s fourth floor galleries.