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Dan Colen

Poetry

September 10–October 16, 2010
555 West 24th Street, New York

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

About

This show has a lot to do with failure and potential, accident and intention, and time at its most minute and most infinite. It’s about how powerful a single simple gesture can be.
Dan Colen

Gagosian is pleased to present Dan Colen’s first major solo exhibition in New York. This follows his two-part exhibition “I Live There”/“An Allegory of Faith” at Gagosian Gallery Davies Street in 2009 and the surreptitious exhibition “Potty Mouth Potty War” in the bathrooms of Gagosian Gallery West 24th Street in 2006.

Drawing from mass media, local environment, and subculture, Colen’s art imbues the ordinary, the disenfranchised, and the tribal with provocative new status. Working from personal experience with subjects overlooked or considered rogue and delinquent by art and society, he explores the very essence of dichotomy through risk and affect, juggling immediacy of expression with technical perfection. Slipperiness of meaning results in his painstaking reconstruction of ‘what might have been’; in paintings whose apparent incidental qualities—from showered confetti and heavily accreted bird droppings to scrawled song lyrics, random thoughts, and absurd slogans—are, in fact, the result of expert and painstaking brush technique over equally obsessively crafted surfaces; in sculptures that feign the inadvertent monuments and sites on which popular culture inscribes its voices and traces; and in the inverse play of editing, subcontracting, stealing, and transposing.

In this exhibition, Colen adds a further layer of complexity to his meditations on the mimetic nature of art by moving even closer to the reality from which he has always drawn inspiration. Real life, with its social habits and strong aesthetic preferences, seems to be so perfectly and potently designed that the only possible role open to him is as choreographer of single, bold, and exquisite acts of transformation. The scale of his new works and the spaces that house them befit this more resolute embrace of reality and its uncertainties.

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Chicken and barn at Sky High Farm in Columbia County, New York.

Dan Colen: Sky High Farm

In this video, Dan Colen speaks about his inspiration in founding Sky High Farm as a way to address food insecurity and improve access to fresh, nutritious food for underserved communities in New York. Established in 2011, the 40-acre farm raises pasture-based livestock and grows organic fruit and vegetables exclusively for donation. 

Project EATS farm (top); Sky High Farm (bottom).

The Bigger Picture
Sky High Farm × Project EATS

Dan Colen and Linda Goode Bryant are both artists who have founded nonprofits devoted to food justice. Here they speak about art, food, and life, including how they arrived at farming and the urgency of their projects’ missions during the current health crisis.

A Single Moment: Dan Colen and Francesco Bonami

A Single Moment: Dan Colen and Francesco Bonami

Dan Colen joins Francesco Bonami in a conversation about absence and nostalgia, decadence and decay, progress and failure—and about help, the theme of his most recent body of paintings.

Video still of Dan Colen seated onstage with Hans Ulrich Obrist.

In Conversation
Dan Colen with Hans Ulrich Obrist

Against the backdrop of his survey exhibition Sweet Liberty, Dan Colen speaks about his work with Hans Ulrich Obrist, starting with his earliest interest in art and continuing up to the recent Desert paintings (2015–19).

Dan Colen: Carry On Cowboy

Dan Colen: Carry On Cowboy

Gagosian Quarterly presents Dan Colen’s Carry On Cowboy. This performance first took place during the exhibition Dan Colen: High Noon at Gagosian, Beverly Hills.

Dan Colen: At Least They Died Together

Dan Colen: At Least They Died Together

Gagosian Quarterly presents Dan Colen’s At Least They Died Together. This performance first took place during the exhibition Dan Colen: High Noon at Gagosian, Beverly Hills.

News

Photo: Eric Piasecki

Artist Spotlight

Dan Colen

May 20–26, 2020

Moving between diverse styles and subjects, Dan Colen investigates the conceptual stakes of materiality and mark making. Alongside explorations in unconventional mediums including chewing gum, flowers, and metal studs, he continually returns to oil painting and representation, conducting an ever-evolving inquiry into the objecthood and authority of painting as a medium.

Photo: Eric Piasecki