Sunday, August 29, 2010

The "Geist" of Dean Ebben

Geist is a word that comes up in discussion with Dean Ebben...There is not a precise definition or translation of it, but it seems to be the "uber" meaning, the unspoken totality or subconscious underpinnings of experiences. It relates to his understanding of the meaning of "wisdom work." Although Dean works in the Museum of Biblical Art, his understanding of wisdom work is not a religious one. Like the writers of deep history, he seeks wisdom through the exploration of ideas, materials, mythology and narrative...He seeks the "geist."

Dean has made a series entitled Geist .They are gouache paintings, painted on over beaten flax that he beat and sheet-formed at Cave Paper in Minneapolis, MN. The images stem from imagination, dreams, personal mythology, media, art history and popular culture.

The series continues with increasing subtlety and will likely be part of his show, In the House of the Mineral Spirits, opening in January.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dean Ebbens, Similar Journeys

Read about Dean Ebben's recent show at St. John University

Dean's In the House of the Mineral Spirits will be the re-opening show, at the end of a 6 month sabbatical, for Susan Hensel Gallery in January 2010.

Monday, August 2, 2010

In the House of the Mineral Spirits

I had a wonderful talk with
Dean Ebben today. Those of you who have taken workshops from him, know what I mean when I say he is open and charming, but thinks deeply and carefully about what he is doing in this world.

Dean grew up in the Twin Cities, graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Pratt Institute. His media is drawing... but not in the way that most people think of an elegant line done in pen or pencil. He draws in multi-media, works video, handmade paper, cyanotype and goache in a meditative manner akin to the discovery process inherent in drawing.
image from Bound, a series of Cyanotypes Ebben made in Austerlitz, NY. They are the result of a video-taped action of Ebben wrapping his hands and feet.

As he works on his January show, In the House of the Mineral Spirits, Dean is considering this gallery space, this city, this neighborhood and how they will affect the presentation and the meaning of his work. Stay tuned. The actual date is not yet chosen, but the event will be exciting. We spent the morning discussing the use of video projection, performance and evidence that can be possessed by the observers. Gamelans will likely be played!