Brian Michael Dunn

Drawing, Painting, Sculpture / Installation, Visual / Media

Awards Received

Individual Artist


I create paintings and sculptures that mine the visual markers of image (re)production in invented scenes of nature and commerce. My work investigates the question: "How does the visual language of mass production inform the act of looking today?"

About the Artist

Brian Michael Dunn (b.1982) creates paintings and sculptures that mine the visual language of mass reproduction. Born in Milwaukee, WI, Dunn received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting from Boston University and a Master of Fine Art from Cornell University. Dunn is an alumnus of the Hamiltonian Artists Fellowship and was awarded a DC art Bank Grant in 2020 and a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant in 2019. Dunn has attended the Millay Residency in Austerlitz, NY, the Byrdcliffe Residency in Woodstock, NY and the Yale Summer Painting Program in Norfolk, CT. Recent commissions include Google Headquarters in Arlington, VA and Costa Palmas Casitas, Cabo, MX. Dunn has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the region, most recently at the Kreeger Museum, Washington DC, Hamiltonian Gallery, Washington DC, Mono Practice and the Reinstitute, Baltimore and Tiger Strikes Asteroid, New York.

Brian Michael Dunn website artist site Brian Michael Dunn website gallery site

Artist's Statement

I create paintings and sculptures that mine the visual markers of image (re)production in invented scenes of nature and commerce. I layer textures and patterns from daily life, linking our visual experience of the world to ingrained systems of image mediation and multiplication. I draw from disparate pictorial traditions including botanical and children’s book illustrations, weaving, comics, American quilt traditions, early modernist textile design, and ukiyo-e woodblock prints, with a special focus on the language of (re)production inherent to each. I reposition elements from these functional and decorative traditions into organic, life-size expressive spaces. In this work I consider how the visual language of mass production informs the act of looking, today. ‘Sheetz’ is a series of painted sheet metal sculptures that mimic the forms and surfaces of everyday objects. In this series, I seek to create works which operate as both object and image, abstraction and naturalistic representation, and which display aspects of both their true and depicted materiality. In each object, previously functional qualities take on new roles as signifiers of meaning when re-cast as elements within a sculpture. One motif I have returned to in this series is the newspaper page-spread. Stripped of all text, these sculptures of opened pages rely on previously secondary qualities, such as the layout of photo boxes, gutters and borders, and the physical nature of the page itself, to deliver content to a viewer. By rendering this familiar format unfamiliar through a painterly process of reduction, I hope to highlight the dissonant experiences of reading versus looking and the varieties and limits of communication itself.

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