Halsey McKay presents Go Towards the Light, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with Elias Hansen.
Hansen has spent the last ten years developing an elaborate language of interrelated objects, materials, installations, and environments. For the winter exhibition, Hansen has distilled his expansive and rambling practice to focus on singular glass pieces. Aptly titled Light Sculptures, these works, illuminated by a spectrum of bulbs, fill the space with an ethereal glow.
On this new body of work, Hansen writes: As an object maker, I am constantly fascinated by the look and feel of things. I often find myself lost in the appearance of something, turning it over in my hand, inspecting the edges, holding it up to the sunlight. This current series is a dedication to the simplicity of this idea, creating a simple object that glows with light and pulls you in. All of the story is left up to you, it is all about your own relationship to objects and light. This simple idea is so hard to embrace, so hard to simply go towards the light and embrace happiness. So many of us artists want to insert ourselves into what we make, rather than let the objects lead the way.
In my personal life, I try to surround myself with family and community, staying close to the people I love. But there is always sadness and loss, the unavoidables of the human condition. There are times when the stories are too sad and to talk is too difficult. Sometimes we just need to sit together and go towards the light in our minds. The meditation of the simple object can be so calming, allowing us to reset our own perspective and find a way to deal with the harshness of life. Go Towards the Light is a simple meditation on materials and forms I have been experimenting with for the last decade. Paired down to their most basic moment, these are the things that keep me going, the reason I keep coming back to my studio and turning the lights on.
– Elias Hansen
Bellingham, WA, January, 2019
Elias Hansen (b. 1979, Tacoma, WA) graduated from New Orleans School of Glass and Print in 2001. Hansens’ work has been exhibited at public and private institutions including the Palais De Tokyo, Paris, FR; American Academy in Rome, IT; Albert Baronian, Brussels, BE; Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA. His recent solo exhibitions have been held at Maccarone, New York; Anat Ebgi and Team Bungalow, Los Angeles, CA; Take Ninagawa, Tokyo; Cooper Cole, Toronto, ON; Jonathan Viner, London, UK; and Halsey McKay, East Hampton, NY. Hansen’s work is held in the collections of the Seattle Art Musum, and Henry Art Gallery at Washington University, Seattle, WA; Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico. Under the name Asp and Hand, he and his wife Blair make collections of handmade glass for everyday use. Hansen currently lives and works in Bellingham, Washington.Courtesy of the artist and Halsey McKay Gallery