<< Back to News Release Listing
James Hanes: A Retrospective
A long-time resident of Philadelphia, Hanes has shown his works at many prestigious national and international venues including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Palazzo dei Papi in Orvieto, Italy, and the National Academy of Design, New York. The artist received his formal training with Roy Nuse at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1950, he won a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and the following year the Prix de Rome Scholarship to the American Academy in Rome. He recalls the opportunity to study in Rome: "I had never been to Italy, which was for me almost the birth of civilization. It was the major event of my life." In 1965, several years after returning from Italy, he founded the Fine Art department at La Salle University from which he retired in 1992.
Hanes thinks deeply about his relationship to the past, and Rubens, Corot and Velasquez are just some of the artists he cites as sources of inspiration for his art. Yet whereas the subjects of Hanes’s art reflect his reverence for the Old Masters, his use of color in works like Flowers from the Garden and Still Life with French Cheese, Bread and Wine owe much to late nineteenth and early twentieth-century artists like Odilon Redon and Paul Cézanne.
Drawing plays an important role in his art, a sampling of which is included in the exhibition. Remembering his first experience of working in Italy, he says: "I was drawing every day, which trained my eye and enhanced by skills… what I did was to draw the people as they were living their lives, and the places as they were at the time." Unlike many contemporary artists, who depend on photography, Hanes relies on preparatory sketches to create his paintings, a practice that reflects the artist’s preference for art-making methods founded on the principles of the Old Master painters.
The wide-ranging qualities of the works on view reflect not only the artist’s reverence for the past but also his astonishing capacity for fresh and innovative observation.
The La Salle University Art Museum is located on the lower level of Olney Hall on the campus of La Salle University at 19th St. and Olney Ave. Hours are 10 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday and 2 to 4 PM on most Sundays during the University’s Fall and Spring semesters. Admission is free, though donations are accepted. Classes and group visits by appointment. Special tours can be arranged. For further information call 215-951-1221 or visit our website at http://www.lasalle.edu/museum.