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John Dann, Dragon

John Dann, Dragon, alkyd on wood (2005), [Pera Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, May 6-Jun 18]

John Dann: Painted Shapes

Pera Art Gallery
Vancouver BC – May 6-Jun 18, 2010

John Dann, WEAM

John Dann, WEAM, detail, polychromed aluminum (2010), [Pera Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, May 6-Jun 18]

John Dann, Before Uncertainty

John Dann, Before Uncertainty, painted aluminum (2010), [Pera Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, May 6-Jun 18]

John Dann, Gloam

John Dann, Gloam, polychromed aluminum (2010), [Pera Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, May 6-Jun 18]

Montreal-born John Dann is an American sculptor who recently moved to Canada and divides his time between Vancouver and New Brunswick. In earlier work, he created bronze portraits of some of Canada’s most prominent citizens, including Wilder Penfield, John Diefenbaker, Glenn Gould, John A. MacDonald and Lester Pearson, as well as interactive, tactile installations. Since moving to Vancouver last year after 25 years in Massachusetts, he has created new work described as “bold, yet whimsical and joyous.”

Dann’s sculptures, painted shapes and paintings on board and canvas share a mentality both loose and totemic. He appears to be mainly concerned with exploring modernist questions of weight and gravity, picture-planes and foreground/ background using both two- and three-dimensional approaches.

For his latest series, Painted Shapes, he designed strangely organic shapes on the computer then had them cut from large sheets of aluminum. Using a palette of unearthly colours, deeply saturated in tone, he painted the cut-outs with areas of colour.

Dann’s biography reveals that he has been experimenting with form and figure for 35 years and is mostly self-taught. He spent some time at the Montreal Museum School of Fine Arts and at the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Carrara, Italy, then travelled and worked in a number of Italian foundries with bronze and marble. In 2005 he began painting and using colour in his work. In keeping with his belief that art should be non-exclusive and democratic in nature, the Pera Gallery show includes a piece that can be walked on.


Mia Johnson

John Dann, Thrice is Thine

John Dann, Thrice is Thine, acrylic on Baltic birch (2009-2010), [Pera Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, May 6-Jun 18]

 Sun, Jun 6, 2010