When I go to Los Angeles I always spend a bit of time in Pasadena, where I used to live while working for Walt Disney Imagineering. A new addition to Pasadena since I lived there is the Pasadena Museum of California Art. A couple of years ago I saw an Edgar Payne show there which was jaw dropping and I’ll have to say the recent show there on Armin Hanson is just as amazing.
Armin Hansen (1886-1957) is an artists that was really never in my radar, but after seeing the show I want to delve into a study of his work more. Born in San Francisco he studied with Carlos Grethe at the Stuttgart Royal Academy and also at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. After studying in Germany he taught at University of California, Berkley and later moved to Monterey and was a founder of the Carmel Art Association.
He eventually became known for his marine scenes and became a deck hand on a number of commercial fishing vessels, portraying the fisherman's life on land and at sea. One can sense he earned the camaraderie and trust of the fisherman and there are a number of paintings that just wouldn’t be possible to pull off unless he was on the ships and part of the crew.
What I found most amazing was his draftsmanship, color sense and brushwork. The show features a number of paintings he did of rodeo life, a few still life paintings that feature table settings after meals were consumed and one of his painting area in his studio. The majority are marine scenes, sail boats, fishing boats, and fisherman at work. There are oil paintings with rich color and juicy brush work. To me they resembled the color palettes from the works of German Expressionists, not surprising since he studied in Germany. There are marine scenes with a fantastic tonalist quality in hues of green and blue. There are also a few watercolors and many prints and etchings.
I was so intrigued with this show and his work I visited the exhibition twice. The second time really studying and savoring paintings I was drawn to. I highly recommend this show if you live or are visiting southern California, but hurry the show ends May 31!