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Jan Estep
updated: 07/31/2009
website: www.janestep.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
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Imagine someone who could only think out loud
Illustrated Map: Beneath the surface (of language), Silver Island Mountain Byway, Wendover, Utah, USA
Illustrated Map: Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lake Eidsvatnet, Skjolden, Sogn, Norway
Illustrated Map: Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein... (back)
Trail Map to Wittgenstein's Hut (JE)
Trail Map to Wittgenstein's Hut (JE) (detail)
Desert Map: Joshua Tree National Park, Map 226
Desert Map: Joshua Tree National Park, Map 226 (detail)
Ad Infinitum
Ad Infinitum (video still)
Hot Air Sincerely
Hot Air Sincerely (detail of single panel)
I will respect Mr. Mike
Bastard Syllogism: You say you love me (detail)
Imagine someone who could only think out loud
 
Portfolio Keywords:  conceptual, language, mapping, text, nature, landscape, information
 
 
Imagine someone who could only think out loud by Jan Estep
Imagine someone who could only think out loud
digital inkjet poster
2009
14" x  11" 
Illustrated Map: Beneath the surface (of language), Silver Island Mountain Byway, Wendover, Utah, USA by Jan Estep
Illustrated Map: Beneath the surface (of language), Silver Island Mountain Byway, Wendover, Utah, USA
offset print
2009
24 " x  32 " 
Illustrated Map: Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lake Eidsvatnet, Skjolden, Sogn, Norway by Jan Estep
Illustrated Map: Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lake Eidsvatnet, Skjolden, Sogn, Norway
offset print
2007
24" x  32" 
Illustrated Map: Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein... (back) by Jan Estep
Illustrated Map: Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein... (back)
offset print
2007
24" x  32" 
Trail Map to Wittgenstein's Hut (JE) by Jan Estep
Trail Map to Wittgenstein's Hut (JE)
digital inkjet print
2007
41" x  17.5" 
Trail Map to Wittgenstein's Hut (JE) (detail) by Jan Estep
Trail Map to Wittgenstein's Hut (JE) (detail)
digital inkjet print
2007
41" x  17.5" 
Desert Map: Joshua Tree National Park, Map 226 by Jan Estep
Desert Map: Joshua Tree National Park, Map 226
pen on paper
2005
30" x  22" 
Desert Map: Joshua Tree National Park, Map 226 (detail) by Jan Estep
Desert Map: Joshua Tree National Park, Map 226 (detail)
pen on paper
2005
30" x  22" 
Ad Infinitum by Jan Estep
Ad Infinitum
video, dvd-r, 24 minutes
2005
0" x  0" 
Ad Infinitum (video still) by Jan Estep
Ad Infinitum (video still)
video, dvd-r, 24 minutes
2005
0" x  0" 
Hot Air Sincerely by Jan Estep
Hot Air Sincerely
hand-embroidered linen, wood, 156 11x11" panels
2006
36" x  624"  x 1.5" 
Hot Air Sincerely (detail of single panel) by Jan Estep
Hot Air Sincerely (detail of single panel)
hand-embroidered linen, wood
2006
11" x  11" 
I will respect Mr. Mike by Jan Estep
I will respect Mr. Mike
digital inkjet print
2005
29" x  22" 
Bastard Syllogism: You say you love me (detail) by Jan Estep
Bastard Syllogism: You say you love me (detail)
hand-embroidered linen, wood
2006
14" x  14" 
Imagine someone who could only think out loud by Jan Estep
Imagine someone who could only think out loud
cut-vinyl lettering, wall paint
2008
0" x  0" 

Artist Statement

 My artistic practice is hybrid and conceptual, extending across traditional media boundaries. Whether my work takes the form of hand-embroidered canvases presenting words on linen, scripted narrative video, performative reading, conceptual text-based graphic images, illustrated maps, artist books or critical essays about other artists, it all relates conceptually to the intersections between art and language, image and text, us and the surrounding landscape. Holding it altogether is my focus on two things: the sheer physical presence of words perceived in various contexts and the ability of language to suggest and sustain conceptual ideas within those contexts. Whatever form it takes, my work examines the power of language to shape a person’s worldview, the way we map our perception of the world around us by the language we attribute it, and the role that language plays in establishing the social environment we make for ourselves.

            In each project, I use a close examination of specific events to generate philosophical discussions about meaning. What if the sun defied expectation and never set (Endless Day)? What if loved ones in books could come to life (Talking Book)? What if we were asked to defend our own skepticism (Ad Infinitum)? How does language shape our perceptions (Hot Air, Sincerely; Definitions; Desert Maps)? What if our language took on physical weight and form (Because snow never melts on Antarctica)? Can we map what is knowable in the world (Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lake Eidsvatnet, Skjolden, Sogn, Norway)?  The questions of how we know what we know, what informs our decisions, how images express ideas and feelings, and the way the problem of language relates to all of this, come up repeatedly throughout my work. 

Artist Bio / CV

Jan Estep has an expanded creative practice that comprises critical writing, creative writing, and a range of visual media including sculpture, video, drawing, and embroidery. Trained as both a philosopher—PhD, Washington University in St. Louis, 1993—and an artist—MFA, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1997—she approaches her work using a range of analytical and creative means. Her research interests include early conceptual art, philosophy, Wittgenstein, and the relationship between art and language. Her recent artwork focuses on the use of text within visual contexts to sustain dialogue and conceptual ideas. Language mapped onto natural and built landscapes also figures prominently. She has exhibited her artwork at Art in General, Dumbo Artist Space, and New York Arts Gallery, New York; Donald Young Gallery and Bodybuilder and Sportsman Gallery, Chicago; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Franklin Art Works, Soap Factory, and Midway Contemporary, Minneapolis, among others. A number of her artist books and projects are available at Printed Matter, Inc. Since 1998 she has also published over 70 critical pieces in art magazines such as Afterall, Frieze, Modern Painters, InterReview, and New Art Examiner, and in exhibition catalogues by Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Hayward Gallery, London; and Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland. From 1997-2002, she was an editor of New Art Examiner, serving as senior editor from 2000-2002. Estep received the Arts Practitioner/Writer Fellowship at Stanford Humanities Center/SiCa, 2008/09; McKnight Fellowship for Visual Artists, 2006/07; the Jerome Artist Residency at Art in General, 2005; and a Jerome Research and Travel Grant, 2004. Originally from West Virginia, and for many years based in Chicago, Estep moved to Minneapolis in 2002 where she is an associate professor of art at the University of Minnesota.