Surreal Storybook Style: Art by Hannah Greely

A tempera painting of disembodied legs dancing in the airThe Party


Sculptor and painter Hannah Greely creates artwork in a surreal storybook style. Her sculptures echo the tone and appearance of her paintings, bringing the images to life in a three-dimensional format.


The artist favors the medium of tempera on paper in her two-dimensional works. It’s a medium that often appears in school art classes, and the style that Greely utilizes seems to reference this origin, in part, though her treatment of the paint and paper is deceptively skillful. Her subject matter, usually figurative, veers into the surreal, creating bizarre circumstances that the viewer can only guess at. Many of the works seem like illustrations for a text that doesn’t yet exist.


A tempera painting of a faceless figure underwaterWatercraft

The way Greely’s sculpted forms mimic her painting style is similar to the relationship in Jonathan Hertzel’s portfolio. Greely’s sculptures use a variety of media but tend to be constructed rather than found. A recent installation, Little Falls, featured a sculpted rain cloud complete with shiny silver bars forming the body of a heavy downpour below it. 


An installation view of a sculpture of a raincloudLittle Falls (installation view)

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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