About the Lecture
Trenton Doyle Hancock’s intricate candy-colored prints, drawings, collaged felt paintings, and site-specific installations work together to tell the story of the Mounds—a group of bizarre mythical creatures that are the tragic protagonists of the artist’s unfolding narrative between good and evil.
Influenced equally by the history of painting as by the pulp imagery of pop-culture, Hancock transforms traditionally formal decisions—such as the use of color, language, and pattern—into opportunities to create new characters, develop subplots, and convey symbolic meaning. Hancock’s works are suffused with personal mythology presented at an operatic scale, often reinterpreting Biblical stories that the artist learned as a child from his family and local church community. His exuberant and subversive narratives employ a variety of cultural tropes, ranging in tone from comic-strip superhero battles to medieval morality plays, and influenced in style by Hieronymus Bosch, Max Ernst, Henry Darger, Philip Guston, and R. Crumb.
Hancock was born in 1974 in Oklahoma City and raised in Paris, Texas. He earned his BFA from Texas A&M University, Commerce, and his MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia. Hancock was featured in the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennial exhibitions, becoming one of the youngest artists in history to participate in the prestigious survey. His work has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions and is in the permanent collections of prestigious museums including the Dallas Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; SFMOMA; and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His mythology has also been translated to the stage in an original ballet, Cult of Color: Call to Color, commissioned by Ballet Austin and created by Hancock, choreographer Stephen Mills, and composer Graham Reynolds. Hancock lives and works in Houston. He is Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation Distinguished Visiting Fellow for Interdisciplinary Painting Practices at SFAI.
About the Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series
SFAI’s Visiting Artists and Scholars (VAS) lecture series provides students and faculty—as well as the wider Bay Area public—with direct exposure to major figures in contemporary global art and culture. It creates an open forum through which SFAI’s students are challenged to go beyond basic canonical approaches to the study of art and to discover a global perspective that encourages conceptual and comparative approaches. In addition to the public lectures they give, visiting artists and scholars regularly engage with students in an immediate and active way, by teaching intensives or by participating in seminars, critiques, or colloquia.
All VAS lectures begin at 7:30 pm in the Lecture Hall on SFAI’s 800 Chestnut Street campus. For a complete schedule of SFAI's lectures and events, please visit www.sfai.edu/events
SFAI’s exhibitions and public programs—a component of which is the Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series—are supported in part by the Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund. The Winfred Johnson Clive Foundation Distinguished Visiting Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Painting Practices are funded by the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation.
When & Where
San Francisco Art Institute
Founded in 1871, San Francisco Art Institute is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art.