Focusing his practice on the Midwestern pastoral landscape, Dan Gunn considers urban and rural divides through elaborately carved draperies with inset landscape imagery, paper collage, and ceramic sculpture, and most recently, explores the psychological and mythological implications of regional self-conception. Gunn’s practice reveals a complicated relationship with labor and craft discourse; seeing time-intensive processes like woodworking or chair caning as means to an aesthetic end. Gunn reveres the legacy of craft workers, folk artists, woodworkers, and artisans that came before him; despite the humor found in certain iterations, Gunn’s objects are identified as sincere and tender.
Gunn (b.1980, Prairie Village, KS) received an MFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007). Recent solo exhibitions include Flyweight Projects, New York, NY (2022); moniquemeloche, Chicago, IL (2021); The University Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2019); and Good Weather Gallery, North Little Rock, AR (2019). Gunn has also participated in group presentations at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL; the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri; Elephant Gallery, Nashville, TN; University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, Western Exhibitions, Chicago, IL; Marine Contemporary, Santa Monica, CA; Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL; Lloyd Dobler Gallery, Chicago, IL; Columbia College, Chicago, IL; the Poor Farm, Manawa, WI; the Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago, IL; and the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN. Gunn was awarded residencies at the Wassaic Project (2021), University of Arkansas (2019), Anderson Ranch Art Center (2018); Vermont Studio Center (2015); and The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME (2012).
Public collections include the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; 21c Museum Hotels, Louisville, NY; Pierce & Hill Harper Arts Foundation, Detroit, MI; The Joyce Foundation, Chicago, IL; DePaul University School of Music, Chicago, IL; Marciano Art Foundations, Los Angeles, CA; and the Fidelity Corporate Art Collections, among others. Gunn currently lives in New Middleford, CT.