My art, since emigrating to Newfoundland from Ohio in 1970, has been the production of graphic thought knots, clots in a virtual Mediascape. These silk-screen prints, photocollages and, for the last 12 years, digital-photo constructs for computer, have taken shape as an idea log. The work is a jaundiced journal, reflections in a private I.
From artist statement in his retrospective exhibition, X-Rated Vision, curated by Bruce Johnson, Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2000.
Jim Hansen was born in Warren, Ohio, in 1939. After serving in the United States Army Medical Corps from 1962-65, he graduated from Kent State University, Ohio, in 1969, with a major in studio arts and a double minor in biology and chemistry. Hansen moved to Newfoundland in 1970 and became a senior technician at the School of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 1976 he became a Canadian citizen.
Bruce Johnson, the curator of Hansen's 2000 retrospective exhibition, X-Rated Vision, describes Hansen's work as a "visual paper trail of his life" with which "he seeks to assemble and document himself and his universe". Hansen has used collage, photography, print and digital imaging to produce his confrontational and self-reflective artwork.
One of Hansen's most notable projects, The Newfoundland Album, began shortly after his arrival in Newfoundland. Completed during the 1970's, The Newfoundland Album is comprised of hundreds of screen prints, where Hansen compiled a montage of iconography and personal symbol to create a visual journal of words, drawings and photographic appropriations. Hansen refers to these prints as "thought machines" which have allowed him to process his ideas, propositions, reactions and experiences.
The Newfoundland Album created a catalyst for Hansen's further examination of himself and his world through his artwork. The silk screen process encouraged Hansen to move on to media which allowed him even faster results such as photography and more recently, digital media.
Hansen has exhibited across Canada, the United States, and Europe; and has had his films shown in Brussels, Belgium. His artwork has been included in many public and private collections, including the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador's Permanent Collection, the National Gallery of Canada, The Canada Council Art Bank., and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York