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.
Created in response to the covid-19 pandemic, the Artist Spotlight series highlights individual artists, one week at a time, whose exhibitions have been affected by the health crisis. A single artwork by the artist is made available with pricing information for forty-eight hours only.
Artist Spotlight: Dan Colen features a work directly from his exhibition HELP in New York. For more information, please contact the gallery at email@example.com.
Photo: Eric Piasecki
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
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.
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: 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.
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
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.
February 26–April 4, 2020
Park & 75, New York
November 2–December 15, 2018
When I’m Gone
March 21–May 13, 2016
September 2–October 18, 2014
555 West 24th Street, New York
Dan Colen: High Noon is available for online reading from May 20 through June 19 as part of Artist Spotlight: Dan Colen. The book documents two performance pieces by the artist, Carry On Cowboy and At Least They Died Together (both 2018), and a related exhibition of Desert paintings (2015–19), presented at Gagosian, Beverly Hills. The volume features an essay by Douglas Fogle, as well as a conversation between Colen, Fogle, and choreographer Dimitri Chamblas.
Dan Colen: High Noon (New York: Gagosian, 2020)
Dan Colen × Dover Street Market
Dan Colen and Dover Street Market have teamed up to create a line of clothing and farm goods to be sold through the retail store to support Sky High Farm, founded by Colen in 2011. All proceeds will be donated to the 40-acre farm in upstate New York, which aims to address food security and nutrition by sustainably growing and harvesting fresh produce and raising livestock exclusively for donation to underserved communities. The collection includes vintage-sourced, naturally tie-dyed tees and other apparel, as well as honey, jam, tea, salt, and tomatoes grown and jarred on the farm.
Sky High Farm collection on display at Dover Street Market, Los Angeles, 2019
Sky High Farm
In 2011, Dan Colen founded Sky High Farm in New York’s Hudson Valley. Committed to addressing food insecurity and improving access to fresh, nutritious food for underserved communities in New York, Sky High Farm grows fresh fruits and vegetables and raises livestock exclusively for the purposes of donation. The farm operates with a sustainable and regenerative farming model. It also collaborates with nonprofits and government agencies to provide education and work training programs. In addition to Sky High, Colen has contributed extensive fundraising efforts to Henry Street Settlement, whose programming and social services have made a huge impact on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Sky High Farm, Hudson Valley, New York
Matt Black × Gana Art
November 1, 2019–January 5, 2020
Gana Art Center and Gana Art Hannam, Seoul
In collaboration with filmmaker Matt Black, this exhibition is centered around his short film series titled Reflections, which features conversations with contemporary artists. Through his interviews, Black paints a picture of the rapidly changing contemporary art scene, revealing the stories behind the artworks. Following the film’s theme, Gana Art has curated this exhibition to feature works by these artists, which include Dan Colen, Rachel Feinstein, Jeff Koons, Harmony Korine, Sterling Ruby, Taryn Simon, and Blair Thurman, among others.
Installation view, Reflections: Matt Black × Gana Art, Gana Art Center and Gana Art Hannam, Seoul, November 1, 2019–January 5, 2020. Artwork © Sterling Ruby
Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection
May 24–September 15, 2018
Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo
This exhibition of works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection will bring together a corpus of Dan Colen’s paintings (made from oil, chewing gum, confetti, flowers, and lemon juice) as well as sculpture, photographs, and film. Embodiments of moments that have taken on aesthetic form, the works present fragmented stories told in the first person about the artist and his immediate environment. They are dialogues with society and commentaries on art history that often reference political issues, mixing high and low cultural values.
Dan Colen, No Way Jose, 2008–09 © Dan Colen. Photo: Christopher Burke
October 4, 2017–January 28, 2018
Newport Street Gallery, London
This exhibition is Dan Colen’s first major solo exhibition in London and spans more than fifteen years of his art making. The show features new works, including large-scale installations, alongside significant early pieces.
Installation view, Dan Colen: Sweet Liberty, Newport Street Gallery, London, October 4, 2017–January 28, 2018. Artwork © Dan Colen. Photo by Prudence Cumings Associates Ltd © Victor Marta Ltd.
Dan Colen in
Ryan McGinley: The Kids Were Alright
February 11–August 20, 2017
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Featured in this survey of Ryan McGinley’s early work is Dan Colen’s Secrets and Cymbals, Smoke and Scissors (My Friend Dash’s Wall in the Future) (2004–06/2016). This massive sculpture––the artist’s first––is also a monumental painting. Spanning almost ten feet, the freestanding work is comprised of hundreds of small oil paintings on paper or foam, each a 1:1 trompe l’oeil representation of a corresponding photograph, newspaper clipping, or object that hung in an identical position on Dash Snow’s apartment wall in the early 2000s. The apartment was a gathering place for friends and artists, among them Colen’s childhood friend Ryan McGinley.
Dan Colen, Secrets and Cymbals, Smoke and Scissors (My Friend Dash’s Wall in the Future), 2004–06/2016