Artist Profile

Grant Hanna Ferner Represented Artist

Born 1951

Born in Auckland and educated at St. Kentigern College, Pakuranga, Hanna began his career in design, working as a graphic designer, illustrator, art-director and studio manager.

Now a full-time painter, Hanna's superbly executed works reveal impressive draughtsmanship and skilled manipulation of paint, combined with a uniquely dry, witty sense of humour. As with other surrealists, Hanna's imagery is often a bizarre interpretation of the familiar, reminiscent of dreams and metamorphosis. Like other surrealists, Hanna juxtaposes objects and images in irrational ways and employs realistic representation to heighten the incongruities and at times, surprise, his audience.

The "Surrealist Movement" was 'officially' launched in Paris, France, in 1924 when French writer Andre Breton wrote the first surrealist manifesto, outlining the ambitions of the new movement. Almost eighty years later, Grant Hanna remains one of few New Zealand artists recognised for their commitment to working exclusively in this style.

Out of the surrealist movement emerged two very distinct styles, often referred to as "Automatism" and "Veristic Surrealism". "Automatism" was a technique used by the surrealist artist to elicit the unconscious. The artist would allow their hand to wander across the canvas surface without any interference from the conscious mind, and the resulting marks, provided the basis for further elaboration, as can be seen in the work of Miro, Arp and Duchamp. If a mark bore a resemblance to an object, the mark would be refined to become more obvious. All other types of surrealism such as Classical, Social and Visionary Surrealism fall into the latter category, as does the work of Dali, de Chirico, Magritte and Hanna.

Hanna's paintings and drawings are held in private and public collections in New Zealand, Australia, the USA and the United Kingdom.

Hanna is represented exclusively by Ferner Galleries.

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