Ejnar Hansen

Theme/Style – Modernism, Regionalism, portraits, figurative art, still lifes, landscapes

Media – Oils, watercolors, prints

Artistic Focus – Praised in his time as the best portrait painter in Los Angeles County, Ejnar Hansen produced portraits (including those of many famous individuals) notable for their ability to express an insight into the human character, and a comprehension of the psychology that drove each subject. However, Hansen’s work also encompassed still lifes and figure compositions, as well as landscapes whose relaxed tone seems to reflect the artist’s freedom from the obligation to precisely portray his subject – thereby allowing his love of nature to shine through. In all of his artwork, economy and restraint, coupled with an undeniable empathy and honesty, were Hansen’s hallmarks.

Career Highlights –

• Ejnar Hansen, born in Copenhagen, attended that city’s Royal Academy of Fine Art.
• Hansen moved to the American Midwest in 1914, where he worked, somewhat anonymously.
• In 1924, upon his move to Southern California, Hansen's work began to achieve significant recognition.
• The move west also sparked an evolution in Hansen's palette, which previously had reflected his Scandinavian heritage with its toned-down, somber use of color. Life in Southern California encouraged the artist to become more romantic in expression and to use more enriched and brighter colors and textures.
• Among Hansen's most famous works is a portrait of his friend and author Sadakichi Hartmann (who sometimes used the pseudonym Sidney Allan), now in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.