Bruce Hasson


Bruce Hasson (b. 1954) is an American sculptor and painter.

He lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area and travels frequently to Italy and Latin America where he creates new work. Hasson studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, where he received traditional training in figurative art and the Academy of Carrara where he studied sculpture, which was to become his vocation.

Hasson studied the sculpture of the modern masters and admired Giacometti’s figures, Naum Gabo’s linear compositions, the work of Isamu Noguchi, and David Smith’s boldness of form. After 1989, he has spent much time in Latin America, including Peru, where Machu Picchu made an indelible impression. He places great value in the sculpture of the Aztecs as well as the Incas. The Archaic Etruscan style, in all its primitive crudeness, beautiful simplicity and realism has also been a significant influence in the artwork of Bruce Hasson over the last 35 years.

In 1993, the bell became a principle subject for Hasson. He made a series of sensitive studies for the Bell Project. Examples from this series have been installed in Bodega Bay, California (Children’s Bell Tower); Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (Bird Bells); City of Berkeley, California (Peace Bell).

In 1999, as the century was near its end, Hasson made his largest bell, called Millennia. Weighing 1700 pounds and cast in carbon steel using melted guns, it is a monument to human survival. The bell was first installed at the Campidoglio in Rome, during the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize Conference, where Mikhail Gorbachev struck it during its dedication. It is now installed in the holy city of Assisi.

The visual language of the artist has changed over the course of his career. Bruce Hasson’s later bells are smaller, eloquent bronzes often embellished by various evocative forms protruding from their surfaces. It is interesting to watch the approach that the artist presents in a process of change that takes him to other creative paths.