Dan Treado

Artist Statement



“Move Over Mister” 2002, oil on canvas, multiple panels, 12” x 70”     


“Desert Island Picture” 2002, oil on canvas, multiple panels,  12” x 70”

Education:  M.F.A. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
B.A. Georgetown University, Washington, D.C
1999 Residency Fellowship, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris France
1992 Skowhegan Scholarship and Residence Award, Pratt Institute
1988 First Prize for Painting and Sculpture, Kreeger Competition

Artist’s Statement Regarding Process and Composition:

About ten years ago I saw Brice Marden’s “Forest Grove” paintings in New York and they made a deep impression on me.  I shifted from making narrative work to making abstract paintings at about that time.  Robert Ryman’s comment about the nature of painting in the latter half of the twentieth century stuck with me, too: “It’s not a question of what to paint, but rather, how to paint it.”  As a result, I started to use atypical tools to obscure the mark of my hand and to allow the process of painting to inform the final image.  The ambiguous stuff of natural history became the stuff I chose to hang the paint on: organic figures made homes for themselves within atmospheres of plasma, sea water, the vacuum of space, light.  And the space that I created was always the most interesting thing.

My paintings are process works that borrow from sources such as films and photography, physics and biology textbooks, and electron microscope images.  Three, five, seven, sixteen, even thirty individual images are combined to form a single larger painting.  The bigger picture reads as a catalog of microscopic spaces, or as an armature for a game that explores the tensions found in evolutionary processes in Nature.  I am interested in the simple dynamics of random adaptation and mutation, and my paintings are a function of a studio process that relies on similar mechanisms as a way to make pictures.  I use squeegees, scrapers, and invented brushes to lay on thin layers of paint that produce facturelss, skin-like surfaces.

My recent work is of a lateral format that implies a comparison between the way in which we look at film and the way in which we view a painting (in fact, the titles of several of the paintings refer to banal and often repeated lines in films).  The images scan left and right with no commitment to an up or down; one thinks of the rotoscope and the flip-book and the movie projector, and the way in which these devices (ironically, almost) present still images so as to imply Real Time movement.  In contrast, my paintings move more slowly, but they do move, quietly documenting the invisible creeping of Nature (and Science and Fiction) at work.

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