john preus Descendant of Lutheran pastors stretching back many generations to Norway, John has squandered his pastoral pedigree to pursue a life as an artist and craftsman. John lives in Chicago with his wife and 3 children, where they remained after John studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, then received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Chicago. Exhibitions include: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Heilbronn Kunstverein in Germany/ with publication, the Huguenot House in Kassel, Germany during Documenta, the Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft. Recent awards include: the Efroymson Fellowship, the MAKER grant, and an award from the Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs.


My work as an artist crosses between sculpture, performance, social practice, with a history in painting and woodcraft. I am also a builder and contractor by trade and imagine that as a part of my broader practice as it often involves working with scrap materials in a residential or commercial context. Maybe what I am after is an attempt to restore some degree of visibility to the surreptitious sociopolitical commitments buried in the scrap piles and dumpsters of the world, taken as a sort of collective unconscious. Working with cast off material becomes a way to think about the past, to turn the soil, to inspect the compost for its elemental ingredients, specifically the part of the past that wishes to remain hidden.


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Contact Information

Phone: 773.640.6767


Website: john preus

Social Media: dilettante studios

Other: On Love and Labor: thoughts that accompanied the making of a table