Dan Colen – Peanuts

Dan Colen (b. 1979) is part of the new art scene on New York’s Lower East Side – the so-called ‘Bowery School’. He has gained recognition for creating personal and referential art. His work invites the spectator to enter an intimate, personal sphere, but also to go out in the streets, into an urban environment full of rude confrontations. The works are characterized by everything from graffiti and chewing gum to investigations of natural substances such as grass and dirt.

Dan Colen’s art dialogues with art historical precursors such as Jackson Pollock, Yves Klein, Jeff Wall and Richard Prince. At the same time, we find elements of religious metaphysics and Walt Disney cartoon aesthetics. Several works share formal similarities with Abstract Expressionism, yet they are also loaded with multilayered meanings and achieve a unique balance between form and content: Hyperrealism confronts graffiti and Abstract Expressionism.

Colen’s artistic production includes paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations, readymades and films. Here we find painted sculptures with ‘low’ cultural references, graffiti-inspired text paintings and large installations with performative elements. The exhibition contains works created in the last decade as well as new works.

While Peanuts is Dan Colen’s first solo exhibition in Norway, it is also the first larger museal presentation of his artistic practice. It is therefore a great pleasure for Astrup Fearnley Museum to introduce this young artist to a wider audience.

Curators: Gunnar B. Kvaran, Hanne Beate Ueland and Grete Årbu