Dan Gunn

Artadia Awardee

Dan Gunn (b. 1980, Prairie Village, KS) is an artist, writer, and educator. He received an MFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. He was awarded residencies at the Wassaic Project (2022), University of Arkansas (2019), Anderson Ranch Art Center (2018), Vermont Studio Center (2015), and The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2012).

Recent solo exhibitions include “of the land behind them” at Monique Meloche Gallery, “Bunts” at the University Club of Chicago and “The Ungrateful Son” at Good Weather Gallery, North Little Rock, Arkansas. Recent group shows include The Regional, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH, which traveled to Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; The Shallow Act of Seeing, at the John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI, With a Capital P at the Elmhurst Art Museum (IL) and Matter Matters at the University of Missouri Kansas City (MO). Other venues have included the Elephant Gallery (TN), University of Toledo, (OH), Western Exhibitions (Chicago), Marine Contemporary (Santa Monica), Art Los Angeles Contemporary, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), Lloyd Dobler Gallery (Chicago), Columbia College (Chicago), the Poor Farm (WI), and the Loyola University Museum of Art (Chicago), & Lubeznik Center for the Arts (Michigan City, IN).

His work has been reviewed in Frieze, Art in America, Artforum.com, art ltd., Artslant.com, Newcity Magazine, New American Paintings, TimeOut Chicago, and the Chicago Tribune.

As an artist born in Kansas, Gunn’s research and practice centers around imagery from the American Midwestern vernacular where wood-paneled basements, cheap roadside memorabilia, craft traditions such as pottery and quilting, and signs of agrarian nostalgia are the norm. The practice investigates the ideological function of this imagery in forming a regional self-conception, notions of authenticity, and types of masculine subjectivity. Materials and processes are used for their historical and social connotations, here, woodworking and ceramics, for their relationship to Americana. The ‘craftsman’ and ‘folk artist’ as avatars and reservoirs of authenticity are very much under interrogation.