Joseph Mellor Hanson
Joseph M. Hanson, born in West Riding, Yorkshire, England, in 1900, began his art training at the Halifax School of Art. In 1925, Hanson left England for further study in Paris. His teachers in France were Andre Lhote, Othon Friesz and most importantly Fernand Leger. According to Leger scholar Matthew Affron, Leger regarded Hanson as one of his most important students. Hanson then spent eight years working in France as an assistant to Amedee Ozenfant and to Le Corbusier on numerous mural projects. With both artists the principles of "Purism" prevailed, and in turn influenced Hanson's own painting style.
Hanson exhibited at several important salons and had two one-man exhibitions in Paris, including a show of his work at Galerie Jeanne Castel. When he returned to England in 1935, Hanson abandoned his interest in total abstraction and dedicated his work to interpreting the figure, in a purist style and with a sense of isolation and tension. Hanson's painting at that point in time reflected a kinship to the work of his British contemporaries including Henry Moore and Ben Nicholson. Hanson remained in England until 1938 supporting himself by teaching at a boarding school and showing his work in London galleries.
Hanson came to the United States in 1938, maintaining a studio in New York City for the next seven years.
In 1945, Hanson received an appointment as an instructor at Cornell University where he remained on the faculty until his death in 1963. For sixteen years Hanson had regular one-man shows at the Passedoit Gallery, and participated in group exhibitions at the Carnegie Institute, the Chicago Art Institute, the Corcoran Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
His work is in several museum collections in the United States and England, including MoMA, the Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City, the White Museum at Cornell, the National Gallery of Wales, and Bankfield Museum in Halifax, England.
Partial exibition list:
1928 - Galerie Mots et Images, Paris
1928-32 - Salon des Independants, Paris
1929 - Galerie Aubier, Paris (group)
1935 - Galerie Jeanne Castel, Paris
1937-38 - Wertheim Gallery, London
1938 - Bankfield Museum, Halifax, England
1941-57 - Passedoit Gallery, New York (8 one-man exhibitions)
1943-50 - Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh (group)
1950 - Art Institute of Chicago (group)
1950 - Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio (group)
1953 - Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (group)
1954 - MoMA, New York, 25th Anniv. exhibition (group)
1959 - Corcoran Gallery of Art, D.C. (group)
1960 - Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, Cornell Univ., Ithaca New York