Stephen Hannock is regarded as the pre-eminent painter of landscapes, some of which are topographically specific and others imaginary. His technique is unique, consisting of multiple layers of paint that are continuously sanded and repainted, resulting in a surface luminosity that is quite magical. He frequently incorporates a running text through his compositions as well as embedded collaged elements – clippings or photos or other mementos – that imbue the landscapes with autobiographical elements; personal events and thoughts thus become part of the imagery and lend additional impact to the scenes. Much of Hannock’s art is inspired by the masters of the 19th Century Hudson River School of painting like Martin Johnson Heade and Frederic Edwin Church, whose grand vistas of iconic scenery are antecedents for paintings like The Oxbow. This particular locale is Hannock’s most well known subject; a large version is one of two Hannocks in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum. The Oxbow on the Connecticut River, between Amherst and Northampton in Massachusetts, was painted by various 19th Century American artists, and the famous example by Thomas Cole is a star of the American Wing at the Met. For his friend Sting Hannock has painted a magnificent vision of Newcastle as part of the ongoing celebration of that city’s renaissance. His work is represented in numerous major private collections and museums in addition to the Metropolitan, including the Whitney, Smith College, Williams College, the Butler Institute in Ohio, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
Polished mixed media on canvas
72 x 108 inches, 183 x 275 cm
Signed, dated and titled (verso): Stephen Hannock, The Oxbow, for Lane Faison with Betty and Agnes Mongan
Mass Moca #147