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.
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.
Website: john preus
Social Media: dilettante studios