Artist Glen Hansen has created shows featuring drawings and paintings inspired by the architecture of cities like Paris, Prague, and Venice.
Now the New York artist turns his pencils and brushes on Kansas City for The Kansas City Project, an exhibit on display beginning Thursday, June 27 and running through September 13, in the Guldner Gallery of the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
The show — underwritten by a grant from the Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee — features 36 drawings and a half-dozen paintings of local buildings and their architectural and decorative details. The exhibit has been organized by Hansen in conjunction with the Library’s Public Affairs department.
Hansen will present and discuss his work at a special exhibit launch event at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday, June 27 at the Central Library. The nearby Aixios Brasserie at 1006 Walnut is offering a 15 percent discount for dinner that evening for those attending the Hansen talk.
Hansen began painting in oil in 1980 while attending the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, where he now teaches. He became fascinated by the architectural details of ornately decorated buildings, specifically the cupolas, widow’s walks, and turrets of Victorian houses.
“The influence that this environment and architecture had on me,” he says, “became apparent as I produced three solo exhibitions of turrets, street clocks, and East Village cornices.” A 2001 solo show concentrated soley on representations of ancient Venetian sundials.
In 2012 the Library was given a Hansen painting of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts by the William T. Kemper Foundation, Commerce Bank, Trustee. The painting was commissioned as a part of the Kemper Foundation’s underwriting of a commemorative poster for the opening of the Kauffman Center.
At that time Hansen became interested in Kansas City architecture.
“The cityscape of Kansas City is filled with iconic architecture from the late 19th century to the present day,” he says. “My visual survey highlights historic architecture, but also makes reference to oddities like the TWA Building, Town Topic Hamburgers, and the Strahm sign [on the Strahm Mailing Services building at 17th and Broadway].
“Incorporating the often overlooked completes the Kansas City landscape…This body of work celebrates and honors the vastness (and diversity) of Kansas City architecture.”
Admission is free to both the exhibit and the event. RSVP for Hansen’s talk at kclibrary.org or call 816-701-3407. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.
Dinner reservations, including the 15 percent discount at Aixois Brasserie, may be made at opentable.com or by calling 816-474-0000.