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Dan Colen

Blowin’ in the Wind

April 5–July 5, 2012
Athens

Installation view, photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view, photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view, photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view, photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Installation view Photo by Thanos Nioras

Works Exhibited

Dan Colen, Corn oil bottle, 2011 Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Corn oil bottle, 2011

Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Aluminum tray, 2011 Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Aluminum tray, 2011

Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Roof shingle, 2011 Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Roof shingle, 2011

Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Poster, 2011 Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Poster, 2011

Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Mop, 2011 Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Mop, 2011

Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Metal scrap, 2011 Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, Metal scrap, 2011

Mixed media, Dimensions variable

Dan Colen, To be titled, 2011 Mixed media and collage on paper, 39 ¾ × 28 ⅞ inches (101 × 73.3 cm)

Dan Colen, To be titled, 2011

Mixed media and collage on paper, 39 ¾ × 28 ⅞ inches (101 × 73.3 cm)

Dan Colen, To be titled, 2011 Mixed media and collage on paper, 24 ⅞ × 34 ⅛ inches (63.2 × 86.7 cm)

Dan Colen, To be titled, 2011

Mixed media and collage on paper, 24 ⅞ × 34 ⅛ inches (63.2 × 86.7 cm)

About

There ain't too much I can say about this song except that the answer is blowing in the wind. It ain't in no book or movie or TV show or discussion group. Man, it's in the wind-and it's blowing in the wind. Too many of these hip people are telling me where the answer is but oh I won't believe that. I still say it's in the wind and just like a restless piece of paper it's got to come down some...But the only trouble is that no one picks up the answer when it comes down so not too many people get to see and know...and then it flies away.
—Bob Dylan

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Dan Colen.

Colen's art combines the intensity of real life with reflection on the subjects of immanence and belief, taking up with the extant objects encountered along his wandering path in order to revitalize the very stuff and syntax of painting. In his painting exhibition "Trash" (2011), he tapped into the individual histories of abject materials, exposing their latent energies as painting tools, vestigial imprints, and physical elements that often remain attached to the canvas after the painting process. These fervid paintings readdressed mid-century painterly investigations of gravity and the flatbed picture plane, but unlike his predecessors' radical experiments where the paint or repurposed objects equaled the sum total of the work, Colen employed the spirited debris of the street—a flip-flop, a paint can, rags, string, bottles, a tire, and so on—as the means by which to move paint around on the canvas until they both—the tool and the medium—came to rest.

"Blowin' in the Wind" advances this investigation in three related groups of new work that were each once part of the process of the Trash paintings. The first uses pages from a nudie calendar; having fallen away from the surface of a Trash painting, here the remnant seductive pin-ups have been further manipulated with paint and pasted trash to create interplay between control, chaos, beauty and abjection. The second is a grouping of collages that use mismatched letters cut out of stained, smeared wrappers and packaging to spell out the word GOD—desperate, scurrying evocations of the supreme being and embodiment of ultimate faith. The third is a selection of readymade trash objects. Suspended from the wall, their proximate relationships deliver a striking aesthetic depth. A yellow mop bucket, a McDonald's food bag, and an umbrella handle indicate the mediating plane of the canvas where a canvas no longer exists. Commonplace items, which Colen initially used as mark-making tools in the Trash series, become autonomous fetishes alluding to formalist assemblage. The beauty of each object resides in the physical manifestations of history—torn, mangled, and flecked with paint. Thus Colen continues to cultivate the marriage of spectacle and pure chance in relation to the materiality of the readymade and Modernist object and its aesthetic transcendence.

Dan Colen was born in New Jersey in 1979. He graduated with a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001. Exhibitions include the 2006 Whitney Biennial, New York; "USA Today," The Royal Academy, London (2006); "Defamation of Character," PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island, New York (2006); "Fantastic Politics," The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo (2006); "Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection," The New Museum, New York (2010); "Peanuts," Astrup Fearnley (2011); and "In Living Color," the FLAG Art Foundation, New York (on view until May 19, 2012).
—BobDylan

Ο DanColen γεννήθηκε στο Νιου Τζέρσι το 1979. Πήρε πτυχίο ζωγραφικής από το Rhode Island School of Design το 2001. Στις εκθέσεις του συμπεριλαμβάνονται μεταξύ άλλων: Whitney Biennial το 2006 στη Νέα Υόρκη, USA Today, The Royal Academy, Λονδίνο (2006), Defamation of Character, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island, Νέα Υόρκη (2006), Fantastic Politics, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Όσλο (2006), Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection, The New Museum, Νέα Υόρκη (2010), Peanuts, Astrup Fearnley (2011), και In Living Color, the FLAG Art Foundation, Νέα Υόρκη (ανοιχτή έως τις 19 Μαΐου 2012).

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