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Bryan Hunt was born on June 7, 1947, in Terre Haute, Indiana, and originally aspired to become an architect. Having completed his studies at the University of South Florida in 1967, he worked at the Kennedy Space Center as an assistant engineer while dedicating his spare time to painting. In the autumn of 1968 he decided to move to Los Angeles to enroll in the Otis Art Institute, and he finished his studies in 1971. The following year he moved to New York to join the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum. Having returned to Los Angeles in 1973, he continued his artistic investigation, supporting himself with odd jobs, including carpentry. Confined to his bed after a prolonged illness, he became familiar with the work of Jean Paul Sartre, Jorge Luis Borges, Roland Barthes, and Joseph Campbell and was greatly influenced by their writings. At the same time he became interested in Barnett Newman’s art, was greatly struck by Land art, and was aware of the strong hold that Minimalism had on the national art scene.
In 1974 he made five important sculptures that shifted his work in a different direction and thus established a solid base for the next few years, a time marked by prolific creative production. These works, Empire State with Hindenburg, Nankow Pass (Wall of China), Hoover Dam, Tower of Babel, and the first of a series of airships combining art, science, technology, and philosophy, differed radically from the sculptures he had exhibited hitherto in galleries and museums. In the years that followed, he made his Lakes series, simple flat bronze surfaces that reproduced the surface of lakes and were taken from topographic maps; his Quarries, sculptures, whose cuts and engravings suggested quarried stone; his Airships, in which the form of the dirigibles became increasingly abstracted; and his Waterfall seires, where the surface was textured in the manner of Rodin or Giacometti.
Hunt was featured at the 1980 Venice Biennale and has appeared in many solo and group shows. His work belongs to the most important private and public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. The artist lives and works in New York.