“Hansen, James Lee. American, 1925--. Born in Tacoma, Washington, Hansen is one of the most talented of Pacific Northwest sculptors. His abstract work in metal reflects the influence of Chinese bronzes and totemic Indian sculpture.
Each generation seems to produce a few artists whose work is involved with an exploration of the mythological response of man to his environment, and these works have been given greater importance in recent years as psychology and anthropology have increased our awareness of how man uses symbols to communicate individual experiences.
For it seems to be true that the methods of achieving enlightenment are not applicable to group activity, and thus we are dependent upon a mythic symbology in order to record and communicate pertinent data.
And it is becoming increasingly true that in our thing-oriented culture we are most lacking a satisfactory manner in which to discuss that segment of reality labeled “mystic” or “visionary.”
James Lee Hansen was born in 1925 and graduated from the Portland Art Museum School in 1950. Thus his formative years embrace a period during which the concepts of psychological motivation gained popular acceptance. This was also a time of increasing awareness of the art of the Pacific Northwest Indian, and a period that saw the growth of public and private collections of Oriental art. As a student at the Portland Art Museum School, Hansen was aware of those events whose philosophy and imagery were to be germinal to his later works. At the same time he became interested in the problems of bronze casting which caused him to build his own studio-foundry in 1951.”