Ross Hansen: Super Natural

Friday, Apr 13 – May 26, 2018 5 – 8 pm

1709 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

Super Natural examines the perception of nature as a perfect, composed image. This series explores colors, forms, and industrial processes through functional objects made from epoxy resin in a range of scales. Eschewing the monotony of identical objects, these works resemble the structure of nature: similar at first glance yet varied upon inspection. The synthetic material and construction of these objects push the natural into a new state: the super natural. 

Ross Hansen investigates the concepts of the 18th century English artist, William Gilpin’s notion of the picturesque through his own interpretation of these ideals in the objects of this series. While nature is good at producing a variety of textures and colors, as Gilpin asserts, it is often man’s intervention to refine and sculpt the perfect composition. The varied textures within each object—from a smooth, marbled shelf to the surface of a two-toned bumpy chair—echo this idea in nature and are constructed into their own unique compositions. 

Borrowing from methods of industrial production, each item is hand-produced through custom-crafted molds and craft methodologies. The molded tables need no armature as the structural integrity is created through the shape of design. As the pigment is mixed and applied in each piece, Hansen develops ambiguous patterns and textures that blur the line of the natural and synthetic.

Inspired by his work and training as a landscape architect, Hansen designs and creates these objects as a method to explore histories and theories of the discipline at an intimate scale. The objects in this series range in scales, from a modern interpretation of wainscoting to a series of bowls. Epoxy resin unites the objects as the primary material, with a variety of colors and finishes: smooth, marble-like surfaces; bumpy textures; and fuzzy flocking. Combining theories of nature with synthetic material, the series reflects the industrial landscape of the 21st century as it nods to past notions of landscape ideology and the picturesque.

As a landscape and furniture designer, Ross Hansen explores theories of nature through explorations in industrial production and material exploration. Since founding his practice in 2014, Hansen has developed landscape design and public art projects for clients while creating and designing unique, experimental yet functional objects. He earned his Bachelors in Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University and an MFA in 3D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Hansen has served as adjunct faculty at Woodbury University and worked at the offices of Hood Studio and Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture.