MOV File
Online Collections

APEX: Robert Hanson

Robert Hanson (American, 1936-2011), Untitled , May 24, 2011, graphite and colored pencil on paper, Museum Purchase: The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Endowment for Northwest Art, Mrs. Nani Warren and the Northwest Art Council, © Robert Hanson, 2012.1.4


The delicacy of Robert Hanson’s sparsely rendered studies of seated female models belies their innate power. The drawings communicate a sense of humanity that seems simultaneously contemporary and timeless. Though the artist does not consider these drawings to be portraits, his familiarity with each of the models and the kinetic line quality he employs enables him to communicate something of each woman’s essence.

Tiny by contemporary standards, the drawings, usually less than 12 inches tall, are composed of carefully made lines and small marks that provide just enough critical information to make the figures seem perfectly complete. Hanson’s images of clothed models recall in their immediacy the elegant portrait drawings by Hans Holbein the Younger of King Henry VIII’s court. These recent drawings have a riveting, yet understated, humanness that reminds us of both our mortality and of how art may transcend it.

APEX is an ongoing series of exhibitions showcasing Northwest-based artists, curated by Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art. Supported in part by The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Endowments for Northwest Art, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and the Exhibition Series Sponsors.

Curated by Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson

Exhibition Title

APEX: Robert Hanson



Curated by

Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson

Designed By

Portland Art Museum

Organized by

Portland Art Museum

Begin Date


End Date


Related Artworks
IMLS logoNEA logoNEH logo

The Portland Art Museum’s Online Collections site is brought to you thanks to support provided by the State of Oregon through its second Culture, History, Arts, Movies, and Preservation funding program and generous awards from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.