New American Paintings

Dan Gunn

773.252.0299 (Monique Meloche Gallery) /

Born in Kansas and based in Chicago, I make work centered around imagery from the American Midwest. Wood-paneled basements, roadside memorabilia of the West, and agrarian series, are made of pieces of plywood I have cut and laced back together with cord. I photograph actual draped textiles and modify the images in Photoshop. While flat, the works picture dimensionality and, while whole, they exist in a multitude of parts. As objects they mimic aprons, tablecloths, or quilts. The plywood carries the sign of wood, historically associated with masculinity, which Roland Barthes describes as a “poetic substance” that has a “natural warmth to the touch.” But plywood is the least romantic of woods, being a decidedly industrial product. Similarly, the activity of making the draperies combines labor and technology, challenging easy romanticization by the maker.

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