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Dan Colen

Miracle Paintings

September 2–October 18, 2014
555 West 24th Street, New York

Installation video Play Button

Installation video

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

Works Exhibited

Dan Colen, Ride of the Valkyries, 2013 Oil on canvas, 89 ½ × 119 inches (227.3 × 302.3 cm)

Dan Colen, Ride of the Valkyries, 2013

Oil on canvas, 89 ½ × 119 inches (227.3 × 302.3 cm)

Dan Colen, Te Deum, 2013 Oil on canvas, 89 ½ × 119 inches (227.3 × 302.3 cm)

Dan Colen, Te Deum, 2013

Oil on canvas, 89 ½ × 119 inches (227.3 × 302.3 cm)

Dan Colen, Rite of Spring, 2013 Oil and pigment powder on canvas, 105 × 85 inches (266.7 × 215.9 cm)

Dan Colen, Rite of Spring, 2013

Oil and pigment powder on canvas, 105 × 85 inches (266.7 × 215.9 cm)

Dan Colen, O Fortuna, 2013 Oil on canvas, 89 ½ × 119 inches (227.3 × 302.3 cm)

Dan Colen, O Fortuna, 2013

Oil on canvas, 89 ½ × 119 inches (227.3 × 302.3 cm)

About

I wanted these paintings to reveal themselves during the making, similar to how the trash paintings came to be. I was thinking about alchemy. So there's this juggling act; I'm starting and often ending with an image, but the oil paint and the process of using that oil paint will open up the possibility for the artwork to take a new direction.
—Dan Colen

Gagosian is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Dan Colen.

The Miracle paintings continue an investigation that has been central to Colen's practice from the outset: to what extent does art come from the artist, and to what extent does it arise from forces independent of the artist? In his earliest paintings, Colen labored over precise oil renderings of banal interiors—a sloppy apartment bathroom, an adolescent bedroom, a camping tent—into which he introduced the presence of the supernatural—the Blue Fairy, Jesus Christ, twinkling cherubs, his deceased grandfather. He describes the subsequent series of Candle paintings as “portraits of God.” In these works, the space of the canvas contains the space of Geppetto's worktable—where Pinocchio transcends his materiality to become real—and a message appears in the smoke left by a just-extinguished candle flame.

In 2006, Colen started to make paintings with chewing gum instead of paint, ushering in a long period during which he traded representational subject matter for an exploration of the medium itself. Using flowers, dirt, grass, tar and feathers, Mylar confetti, street trash, and readymade metal studs, he relinquished his controlling approach to painting, instead allowing the final result to be guided in large part by the behavior of the given material. He commented that he found the loss of control exciting, as if the paintings were taking on "inevitable forms—almost like destined forms."

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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