Jan Estep

Photo of Jan Estep

Contact Me

jestep@umn.edu
612-626-6960

Art
W170B Regis Center for Art

418 21st Ave S

Affiliations
Links

Jan Estep has an expanded creative practice that comprises critical writing, creative writing, and a range of visual media including sculpture, photography, video, and independent publishing. Trained as a philosopher“”PhD, Washington University, St. Louis “”and an artist“”MFA, University of Illinois, Chicago“”the relationship between thought and visual expression fuels a wide range of formal and conceptual investigations, particularly as this concerns the connection between art and language, thought and experience. She is also concerned with the ways humans connect to nature and give meaning to our perceptions. Her recent research project Thinking Portraits, a collaboration with a team of neuroscientists, investigates the cognitive connections between abstract and concrete language and the role brain images play in representing scientific findings. Estep has had solo exhibitions at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Art in General, New York; Brooks Barrow Gallery, Milwaukee; and Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis; and numerous group shows nationally and internationally. Her critical writing has been published in Bomb, Afterall, Frieze, Modern Painters, InterReview, Rain Taxi, and New Art Examiner, and her artist books and publications are available at Printed Matter, New York, printedmatter.org, where her illustrated map Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lake Eidsvatnet, Skjolden, Sogn, Norway is a best-seller. She has been awarded a McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship, a Jerome Foundation NY Artist Residency, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Research Grant, and a research commission from Breaking Ground, Ireland. In 2008-2009 Estep was the inaugural arts practitioner/writer fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, a residential fellowship co-sponsored by Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa). In December 2009 (through March 2011) she was awarded a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for short-form writing. www.janestep.com

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • M.F.A.: Studio Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1997.
  • Ph.D.: Philosophy, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 1993.
  • B.A.: Biology and Art, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, 1984.

Specialties

  • text works, artist books, and independent publishing
  • conceptual approaches to art
  • video
  • photography
  • sculpture
  • writing on the arts, creative nonfiction writing
  • interdisciplinary approaches to art (art and philosophy, art and cognitive neuroscience)
Courses Taught
  • ARTS 8400 - Theoretical Constructions in Contemporary Art
  • ARTS 8700 - Photography Theory and Practice
  • ARTS 5710 - Advanced Photography
  • ARTS 5710 - Advanced Photography: The Social Impact of Art
  • ARTS 5701 - Performed Photography: Documentation of Artistic Acts and Social Interventions
  • ARTS 5490 - Issue: Image and Text
  • ARTS 3703 - Photography: Digital Imaging
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Artist talk: Documenting Natural and Conceptual Topographies, Photography Symposim: Capturing the Essence of Place, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: June 12, 2010
  • Artist talk: St. Olaf College: April 12, 2010
  • Artist talk: Ordinary Language, Weisman Art Museum: March 25, 2010
  • A Conversation on Art and Discomfort: Abstract Resistance, with Yasmil Raymond: February 27, 2010
  • Artist talk: Mapping Art, Language, World, College Art Association Conference, Chicago: February 12, 2010
  • Readings by Alex Fleming, Jan Estep, and Paige Sweet, Frankling Art Works: January 7, 2010
  • Artist talk: University of Wisconsin, Madison: October 27, 2009
  • Paper presentation: Public or Private: The Use of Art, Progress or Perish Conference, University of Lapland, Finland: September 25, 2009
  • Paper presentation: An Expanded Idea of Activist Art, Progress or Perish Conference, University of Lapland, Finland: September 26, 2009
  • Artist talk: Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, Stanford University, November 21, 2008:
  • Artist talk: Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University, November 11, 2008:
  • Artist talk: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, June 14, 2008:
  • Artist talk: St. Cloud State University, March 24, 2008:
  • Artist talk: Carleton College, March 3, 2008:
  • Artist talk: SAD panel discussion, Weisman Art Museum , June 21, 2007
  • Artist Talk: Open-Ended: Art and Politics, Panel Discussion, Walker Art Center , May 21, 2006
  • Artist talk: University of California, Riverside , May 11, 2006
  • Artist Talk: Hunter College, New York, NY , March 2, 2005
  • Art Tools Workshop: Why Write? Art Criticism by Artists, Art in General, New York, NY , February 19, 2005
  • Artist Talk: Art in General, New York, NY , February 9, 2005
  • Group Exhibition: UMN Department of Art Faculty Video Exhibition, Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China: 2008

Research

  • Thinking Portraits: Mind, Body, Language: a collaborative interdisciplinary art and cognitive neuroscience project. The three principal investigators are Jan Estep, Art, UMN; Wilma Koutstaal, Psychology, UMN; and Sheng He, Psychology, UMN. Generally we are studying various neural and cognitive properties of semantic knowledge with regard to abstract and concrete language and the role functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) plays in representing scientific findings. A key goal is to break down classic mind/body dualisms. Funded by a University Symposium Award and the Institute for Advanced Study, September 2009 - ongoing
  • Mapping Art, Language, World: a series of illustrated, folded sheet maps, modeled after two earlier projects, "Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lake Eidsvatnet, Skjolden, Sogn, Norway" (2007) and "Beneath the surface (of language), Silver Island Mountain Byway, Wendover, Utah, USA" (2009). Each printed map combines writing and images to explore the local topography, found histories, and contemporary land uses integral to a specific site. Funded by a UMN Grant in Aid, January 2010 - ongoing
  • Issue: LAND: a group artist book, designed and edited by Estep, featuring 15 artist projects that explore current environmental and land-use issues. The collection demonstrates a broad sweep of political and aesthetic approaches from urban interventions to documentary photography to building green spaces to alternative mapmaking. Participating artists include Christine Baeumler (USA), Etienne Boulanger (France), The Center for Land Use Interpretation (USA), Song Chao (China), Matthias Einhoff (Germany), Jan Estep (USA), Simon Faithfull (England), Terike Haapoja (Finland), Nance Klehm (USA), KUNSTrePUBLIK (Germany), Laura Corcoran Mahnke (USA), Anna Metcalfe (USA), Daniel Seiple (USA/Germany), Mona Smith (USA), and Rebar (USA)/Works Progress (USA). Funded by the Consortium on Law and Values, UMN; and a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, August 2009 - ongoing

Creative

  • Group Exhibition: Ultimo Libro/The Last Book, Staats- und Universitatsbibliothek Hamburg von Ossietzky, Germany: March 2012
  • Group Exhibition: Ultimo Libro/The Last Book, Zentral Bibliothek, Zurich, Switzerland: March 10 - July 31, 2010
  • Group Exhibition: Common Sense: Art and the Quotidian, Weisman Art Museum: February 6 - May 23, 2010
  • Group Exhibition: Claiming Space: The Material and Immaterial of Site and Language, Quarter Gallery, UMN: January 22 - February 18, 2010
  • Group Exhibition: Art (In) Justice, Council on Crime and Justice, The Minneapolis Foundation: January - April 2010
  • Group Exhibition: Labryint 09: Writings and Observations, Botkyrka Konsthall, Tumba, Sweden: November 7, 2009 - March 13, 2010
  • Group Exhibition: Kiosk: Modes of Multiplication, Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany: September 4, 2009 - February 28, 2010
  • Group Exhibition: Black Market Type and Print Shop, Richard L. Nelson Gallery, UC Davis, CA: July 9 - August 14, 2009
  • Group Exhibition: Black Market Type and Print Shop, Feldman Gallery, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR: May 7 - June 27, 2009
  • Group Exhibition: Art (In) Justice, Council on Crime and Justice, Minneapolis: November 19 - December 10, 2009
  • Solo exhibition: Jan Estep, Recent Video: Museum of Contemporary Art St. Louis, 2008
  • Collaborative multimedia performance: Doing Time, Nothing But Time: Northeast Correctional Center, Bowling Green, Missouri, 2008
  • Solo exhibition: Seeking Antarctica: Carleton College, 2008
  • Group Exhibition: Ultimo Libro/The Last Book, National Library of Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina: 2008
  • Group Exhibition: Kiosk: Modes of Multiplication, Galerie Art & Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Rennes, France: 2008
  • Group Exhibition: Works on Paper, Cuchifritos Gallery, New York, NY: 2008
  • Group Exhibition: Pay Attention: GM08, Soap Factory, Minneapolis: 2008
  • Group Exhibition: McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship Exhibition, MCAD gallery, Minneapolis: 2008
  • Group Exhibition: Bamboo International Photography Festival, Anji, China: 2008
  • Solo Exhibition: Hot Air Sincerely: Brooks Barrow Gallery, Milwaukee, 2007
  • Group Exhibition: SAD, Weisman Art Museum, 2007
  • Video screening, MNTV, organized by Walker Art Center, IFP-MN, and Intermedia Arts: Endless Day, TPT-MN Public Television, 2006
  • Solo Exhibition: Ad Infinitum, Art in General, New York, 2005
  • Solo Exhibition: Because Snow Never Melts, Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis, 2004
Publications
  • Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art?: Estep, Jan, Quodlibetica, Constellation #7 , April 2010.
  • David Lefkowitz, Other Positioning Systems: Estep, Jan, Rochester Art Center, David Lefkowitz (catalogue), 2010.
  • Beneath the surface (of language), Silver Island Mountain Byway, Wendover, Utah, USA: Estep, Jan, illustrated map, 2009. Link
  • Doing Time, Nothing But Time, with Michael Agnew and the NECC Actors: Estep, Jan, artist book with DVD insert, 80 pages, 2009. Link
  • The Real Experiment Continued, in Breaking Ground: 2001-2009: Estep, Jan, Breaking Ground, Dublin, Ireland, 40-48, 2009.
  • What does it mean to kill an animal in the name of art?: Estep, Jan, Quodlibetica, Constellation #5 , November 2009.
  • On Disappearing: Estep, Jan, Quodlibetica, Constellation #4 , September 2009.
  • Showing the Fly Out of the Fly Bottle: Searching for Wittgenstein in Norway: Estep, Jan, Cultural Geographies, Vol. 15, No. 2, 255-260, April 2008.
  • The Real Experiment Continued, in Art in the Life World: Research Papers: Estep, Jan, Breaking Ground, Dublin, Ireland, 11-12, February 2008.
  • Notes from Below Ground, in Issue: Below Ground: Estep, Jan, artist book, 2008.
  • Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lake Eidsvatnet, Skjolden, Sogn, Norway: Estep, Jan, illustrated map, 2007. Link
  • Hot Air Sincerely: Estep, Jan, artist book, 160 pages, 2007. Link
  • Kara Walker: Estep, Jan, Modern Painters, July/August , 2007.
  • Performed Photography: Making Things Public: Estep, Jan, Public Art Review, 36, Spring/Summer 45, 2007.
  • More and Less: Haim Steinbach's Dialectics: Estep, Jan, InterReview, 06, Summer 58-60, 2006.
  • Why write about art?: Estep, Jan, Rain Taxi, 11(1) 34-35, 2006.
  • Ad Infinitum (artist book). Estep, Jan, Art in General, New York, Author, 2005.
  • Lying Liar, in The Black Book, Baltic Triennale: Estep, Jan, CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania, 104-109, 2005.
  • Artists on Artists: Jan Estep on Clarence Morgan: Estep, Jan, Bomb Magazine, 93 66-67, Fall 2005.
  • Victor Burgin, Adam Fuss: Estep, Jan, Routledge, Encyclopedia of 20th Century Photography, 178-181, 580-584, 2005.
  • Everything I Always Wanted to Know, or, The Thought of Making Art Unthinkable: Estep, Jan, Rain Taxi, 10(1) 30-31, Spring 2005.
  • Reading Hirschhorn: A Problem of (His) Knowledge or Weakness as a Virtue: Estep, Jan, Afterall, 9 83-89, 2004.
  • Sophie Calle, Mas-tu Vue: Estep, Jan, Rain Taxi, 9(3) 30-31, Fall 2004.
  • Snow Fall, Because Snow Never Melts, Language Snow Crystals: Estep, Jan, Whitewalls, 45 53-57, Summer 2004.
  • The Last Picture Show, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: Estep, Jan, Frieze, 81 97-98, March 2004.
Awards
  • Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for short-form writing, December 2009 - March 2011
  • Fellow, Humanities Center/Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, Stanford University, September 19, 2008 - June 12, 2009
  • Research Commission, Breaking Ground, Ballymun Percent for Art, Dublin, Ireland, 2007 - 2008
  • McKnight Foundation Visual Artist Fellowship, 2006 - 2007
  • Jerome Foundation Artist in Residency, Art in General, New York, NY, 2005
  • Jerome Foundation Travel and Research Grant, Norway, 2004
  • CAAP Artists Grant, Chicago Cultural Center, 2000
  • CAAP Artists Grant, Chicago Cultural Center, 1999