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Daniel A Bruce - Bumpkin Dandy


Bumpkin Dandy

Daniel A Bruce

-Exhibition dates: March 1st – April 14th 2012
-Opening reception: Thursday March 1st - 6 to 8pm

DEAN PROJECT is excited to present an exhibition of Daniel A Bruce’s recent work. It is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

“Bumpkin Dandy” features a new body of work that explores the contradictory nature of human materiality. Outwardly simple and straightforward, the intentionally callow configurations examine the complex cultural practice of transforming nature into aesthetic objects, calling into question certain views of folk art, artisanship, and aesthetics. High and low cultural practices clash in what Bruce terms a “bumpkin aesthetic”, which combines the awkward and unsophisticated with the ideals of artistic validity.

Exhibited as an installation, “Bumpkin Dandy” brings to mind a roadside attraction in the middle of the iconic American nowhere. The bright lights of the pared-down neon forms displayed together on the wall loom before visitors, guiding them through the darkness in a fashion similar to the alluring lights of roadside stops along the highway.

Feral on the Inside, featuring a pair of recognizable name-brand shoes, calls into question American culture and how we relate to nature through mediation, while Laborer Whirligig mimics novelty objects commonly referred to as collectibles and examines their significance in contemporary society.

This body of work ironically yet adversely represents the simple American lifestyle. Bruce focuses on the moment in the history of commodity in which sign-value takes precedence over use-value, exploring the transformation of nature into works of art and highlighting the suspect nature and ideological parameters of convention. The enticing works demand contemplation on the commodification of objects into art.

Daniel A. Bruce was born in 1978 in Altona, New York. He studied at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, where he earned his AFA in 1998, and he holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2001) and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA (2008). In addition to curating exhibitions, he has lectured at various institutions in the Northeast. Bruce completed an artist residency in 2001 at Sculpture Space Inc. in Utica, NY, and in 2009 he received the Wave Hill Project Space Exhibition Grant. He was recognized by the International Sculpture Center with the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award in 2008, by Temple University with a graduate fellowship in 2006, and by the Rhode Island School of Design with the Transfer Student Fellowship in 1998. Bruce lives and works in New York City.

For further information please contact DEAN PROJECT at 212.229.2017 or