Adjunct Professor, Painting and Drawing (1988). BFA, 1980, University of Nebraska, Omaha; MFA, 1983, University of Illinois at Chicago. Exhibitions: Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago; Kunstverein Recklinghausen, Germany; Renate Schroeder Gallery, Cologne; University of New Mexico Art Museum; State of Illinois Museum; Betsy Rosenfield Gallery, Chicago; Roy Boyd Gallery, Chicago. Collections: Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, AT&T, Prudential Insurance; State of Illinois Museum. Awards: NEA/Midwest Regional Fellowship, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts Fellowship, Illinois Arts Council Fellowships, CAAP Grants, Art Matters, Inc. Fellowship.

Personal Statement

Dan Devening lives in Chicago and is currently Adjunct Professor in the Department of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He recently completed a 15-year position as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University and held full-time faculty positions at the University of New Mexico and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has shown his work extensively in the United States including recent projects at Launch F18, Apex Art and Printed Matter, Inc. in New York; at Autumn Space, ebersmoore gallery, Roy Boyd Gallery and Julius Caesar in Chicago; and at Kinkead Contemporary in Los Angeles. Recent international projects include exhibitions in Germany at the Kunsterverein Recklinghausen; the Museum Kurhaus in Kleve; dok25a in Dusseldorf; Renate Schroeder Gallery in Cologne; and galerie oqbo, Scotty Enterprises and Neues Problem in Berlin. He currently directs devening projects + editions, a gallery project founded in 2007 featuring exhibitions and site-specific installations by emerging and established international artists.

As an curator, Devening has devoted significant time curating, exposing and presenting the work of other artists; a new body of work, called pendent ex ea recently shown at Autumn Space in Chicago, folds many of those precepts into a studio project incorporating paper, collage and installation. Although he describes himself as a die-hard formalist, his recent work reveals new conceptual strategies incorporating display, attachment and context as frameworks driving the greater statement. The motivation behind this interest suggests an awareness of how the matrix of one's life—or practice—keeps itself precariously in place while always in full view. It also folds in systems of information exchange like advertising, public signage, emoticons, pop-up ads and every other way messages are communicated. This is acutely evident in the large sculptural array upon which several paper works hang. Like an information kiosk historically found in town centers, the structure is designed to display both sides of each work; the audience moves freely between the structure and at their own pace. The kiosk is a presentation device that clouds our understanding of how we encounter static works. In this case, there are consequences. As one moves through the space, the viewpoint of each panel is interrupted and influenced by other parts of the installation inevitably leading to overlapping and obfuscation. The structure also exposes Devening's fetishistic interest in how each panel hangs from the structure, as well as how material assembly is a highly considered part of each composition. Thread is used to sew paper to paper; holes perforate surfaces, and clips, staples and paper clips attach material to material. Each device is made declaratively obvious, but also pedestrian and informal, suggesting the potential for quick adjustments. Although an attitude of loose flexibility permeates the work, it?s clear that each decision is calculated and intentional.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.