The ephemeral beauty of a mushroom cloud is frightening; it floats, delicate and blooming, but chaotic and utterly destructive. It is this conflicted experience—a contradiction between what our eyes enjoy and what our mind knows—that Dietrich Wegner’s work evokes in the viewer, with intersections of beauty and repulsion, comfort and fear, fantasy and objective reality. These paradoxical feelings create a multilayered understanding, turning our perception of reality upside down.


Wegner often chooses materials that contradict one aspect of an image while simultaneously lending it a comforting realism. A mushroom cloud is fluffy like cotton, and Wegner’s synthetic cotton mushroom cloud becomes fun and cozy. A blood splat sculpture is shiny and exciting, but suggests all the terrors we associate with spilled blood. The cotton (actually Poly-fil) playhouse and urethane blood splat are examples of materials that reflect what an image looks like but contradict what a subject feels like or “means.” In Wegner’s work, a mushroom cloud can resemble a tree house, an anus a vortex, a suicide bomber a vulnerable human being. His babies are covered in multicolored logo tattoos. These works explore our notions of contentment and security, and provoke us to consider how our identities evolve and how we declare them. 


Dietrich Wegner was born in Adelaide, Australia in 1978 to parents who worked for an organization doing global social work similar to the Peace Corps. His parents’ work brought his family to Egypt and then Houston, Texas. He now resides in northwestern Pennsylvania where he holds a studio and teaches at Edinboro University. 


Education

Ohio State University
MFA in Sculpture
2003

Maryland Institute, College of Art
BFA in Sculpture
2001




Exhibitions

2017

  • Looking Back: 10 Years of Photography from ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.

2016

  • Solo Show, Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA.

2015

  • Dismaland Bemusement Park, Tropicana, Weston-super-mare, UK. Curator: Banksy
  • Pop Stars! Pop Culture and Contemporary Art, 21C Museum Hotels, Cincinnati, OH.

2014

  • 35 Year Anniversary Show, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.

2013

  • Clouds, Fleeting Worlds, Leopold Museum, Vienna, Austria. Curators: Dr. Franz Smola & Dr. Tobias Natter
  • The Cloud, De Meerse, Hoofddorp, Netherlands. Curators: Janke Fokkema and Ellen Witsen Elias
  • MOPLA Group Exhibition, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.

2012

  • Solo Show, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL.
  • Solo Show, Robert BermanGallery, Santa Monica, CA.
  • Making Mends, Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA. Curator: Nora Atkinson
  • Skyward, Bumbershoot, Seattle, WA.

2011

  • Pulse Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Miami, FL.
  • Art Toronto, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Toronto, ON.
  • Pulse Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Art Chicago Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL.

2010

  • Solo Show, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL.
  • Pulse Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery, New York, NY.
  • Dallas Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Dallas, TX.

2009

  • Solo Show, Next Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL.
  • As We Live & Breathe, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL.
  • Young Sculptors 2009, Heistand Gallery, Miami University, Oxford, OH.
  • Gallery Stable, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL.
  • Pulse Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery,New York, NY.
  • Dallas Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Dallas,TX.
  • 30th Anniversary Exhibition, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.

2008

  • Solo Show, Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Photo LA (Art Fair), Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Change America, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.
  • Clouds, et al, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL.
  • 85th Anuual Spring Show, Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA. Juror: Dave Hickey
  • Photo Miami Art Fair, Robert Berman Gallery, Miami, FL.
  • Scope Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery, East Hampton, NY.
  • Scope Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Basil, Switzerland.
  • Art Chicago Art Fair, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL.

2007

  • AAP 97th Annual Exhibition, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Furious! The Angry Show, Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery, Atlanta, GA.
  • Mission Accomplished: Contemporary Political Art, Digital Artist Space, Troy, NY.
  • A Celebration of Sculpture, The Carnegie, Covington, KY. Curator: Bill Seitz
  • On A Pedestal & Off the Wall, Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH.

2006

  • Solo Exhibition , South Bend Regional Museum, South Bend, IN.
  • Solo Exhibition, Esther Allen Greer Museum, University of Rio Grande, OH.
  • Run for Your Lives, Diverseworks Art Space, Houston, TX. Curator: Diane Barber
  • America on the Brink, Athens Institute of Contemporary Art, Athens, GA. Curator: Lizzie Zucker Saltz
  • Phenomenon, George Town College Art Gallery, Georgetown, KY. Curator: Elissa Morley
  • Raise Your Voice: American Democracy Project, Art Center Gallery, Central Missouri
  • State University, Warrensburg, MO.
  • Sculpture Conference Show, The Carnegie, Covington, KY.
  • Nothing to Fear, Art Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY. Curator: Nadine Wasterman.

2005

  • Solo Exhibition, East Gallery, Miami University, Oxford, OH.
  • Power: Sex, Politics & the Pursuit of Global Domination, Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL. Curators: Robert Fitchter & Scott Groeniger.
  • Topographic, Spaces, Cleveland, OH. Curators: Joanne Cohen, Jason Lee, Royden Watson.
  • Mouth, OAL Gallery, Columbus, OH. Two Person Exhibition with Ryan Agnew.
  • 23rd Juried Exhibition, Pleiades Gallery, New York, NY. Juror: Jordan Kantor,
  • Assistant Curator for Museum of Modern Art, New York.
  • CAA National Show, CAA Gallery Cambridge, MA. Juror: Joseph Thompson, Director of Mass MoCA.
  • Ohio Art League Spring Juried Exhibition, Columbus Cultural Arts Center, Columbus, OH.

2004

  • Solo Exhibition, Robert & Martha Hull Lee Gallery, Miami University, Oxford, OH
  • Solo Exhibition, Hanover College Art Gallery, Madison, IN
  • New Art '04, Kingston Gallery, Boston, MA
  • New American Talent, Arthouse, Austin, TX
  • North American Sculpture Exhibition, Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO.
  • International Juried Show, New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, NJ. Juror: Charlotta Kotik, Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art

2003

  • Solo Exhibition, Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH
  • Solo Exhibiton, BTC, Columbus, OH
  • Solo Exhibition, Penn State Community Arts Center, Altoona, PA
  • ISC 2003 Outstanding Student Achievement Award Show, International Sculpture Center, Hamilton, NJ. Jurors: David Collins, Director of Storm King Art Center; Tom Otterness, sculptor; Susan Taylor, director of the Princeton Art Museum
  • Ohio Art League Fall Juried Exhibition, Shot Tower Gallery, Columbus, OH.
  • Art On View, Sauber Gallery, Athens, OH. Juror: Charles Desmarais, Alice & Harris Weston Director
  • Crossing Borders, Goldfarb Center for the Arts, York University Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2002

  • Visions International, Art Center Waco, Waco, TX. Juror: Peter Frank, Critic for LA Weekly.
  • Ohio Art League Spring Juried Exhibition, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH.
  • Juror: Marc Mayer, Deputy Director, Brooklyn Museum of Art

2000

  • Installation, Robert E Lee Park, Baltimore, MD
  • Installation, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD

1997

  • Solo Show, Commerce Street Art Warehouse Gallery, Houston, TX.

Bibliography

2016

  • Merkle, Karen Rene, “Soloexhibition confounds, astounds,” ErieTimes News, August 11, 2016, Showcase 2, 16-17.
  • “Go see ‘Upside Down’,” Erie Times News, July 28, 2016, Showcase3.
  • “Erie 366,” Erie Times News, July 22, 2016, A2.

2015

  • Wertz, Jim, “The Road to Dismaland,” Erie Reader, September 16-29, 2015, 16-17.
  • Erwin, Erica, “Edinboro art prof’s works featured in English exhibit,” Erie Times News, Sept. 6, 2015, B.
  • Thomas, Mary, “Edinboro art professor in Banksy’s Dismaland,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 2, 2015, C-4.
  • Hayward, Sally-Anne, “I wonder, is it difficult to be miserable all day?” StandardIssueMagazine.com, September 2, 2015.
  • Banksy & Evan Pricco, “Banksy’s Dismaland,” Juxtapoz, October, 2015, 48-59.
  • Brym, Robert & John Lie. “SOC+” 2nd Ed. Toronto, ON: Nelson Education, 2015, 52-53.
  • Jobson, Christopher, Welcome to Dismaland: A First Look at Banksy’s New Art Exhibition Housed Inside a Dystopian Theme Park,” ThisIsCollasal.com, August, 20, 2015.
  • McCauley, Kiesten, “Laugh on moment, cry the next: Brisbane woman’s trip to Dismaland,” Brisban Times, August 30, 2015.  

2014

  • Feireuss, Lukas & Robert Klanten. “Imagine Architecture:  Artistic Visions of the Urban Realm, “ 1st ed. Berlin, Germany: Gestalten, 2014, 120-121.
  • “Cumulous Brand, Sebastian as Grandma Sue,” Books: Livres & Ideas du Monde Entier, May, 2014, cover.

2013

  • Grinberg, Delphine. “Terriens Malins,” 1st ed. Paris, France: Le Pommier, 2013, 121.
  • Natter, Tobias & Franz Smola. "Wolken: Welt des Fluchtigen," 1st ed. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 2013, 296, 208-309.

2012

  • Moret, A. “LOS ANGELES Dietrich Wegner: Skin Deep at Robert Berman Gallery,” Art Ltd., September/ October, 2012. 34.
  • Clemans, Gayle. “In Making Mens at BAM, works tell Stories of loss and healing,” The Seattle Times, May 18, 2012, The Arts.
  • Lightfoot, Judy. “Making Mends at BAM: healing and more,” Crosscut.com, March 9, 2012, Arts.
  • “Cumulous Brand, Sabine & Sebastian,” Rostra Economica, February, 2012, 3, 10-11.

2011

  • Edith, "Dietrich Wegner, Cumulous Brand," Tattoo Extreme, May 20011, 33-35.

2010

  • Berg, Ginny. "Baby, is that a new tattoo? Starting young at Carrie Secrist Gallery," ChicagoNow.com, January, 29, 2010.

2009

  • O'Driscoll, Bill. "At The Carnegie Museum of Art," Pittsburgh City Paper, November 10, 2009.
  • McGrath, Carrie. "A Metamorphosis in the West Loop Gallery," fNewsMagazine.com, October 21, 2009.
  • "Ayers, Robert. "Dietrich Wegner, and His Ambigous Convictions," Art Map, 2009, 80-83
  • Frabetti, A.C. "The Eureka Effect," AEQAI.com, March 2009.
  • Davis, Ben. "The Twitter Aesthetic," Art Net Magazine, Reviews, March 13, 2009.

2008

  • Ayers, Robert. "Dietrich Wegner, and His Ambiguous Convictions," Eikon: International Magazine of Photography and Media Art, December 2008, 8-15.
  • "Playhouse," Sculpture Magazine, December 2008, 19.
  • Weinberg, Lauren. "Clouds, et al," Time Out Chicago, Issue 175, July 3-9, 2008.
  • Guz, Savannah. “The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 97th Annual Exhibition has a lot to say—and a lot of fun saying it.” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 17, 2008, Art Reviews & Features.
  • Thomas, Mary. “Shows bring art group’s history to life,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 9, 2008, Art Reviews.

2007

  • Shaw, Kurt. “Paintings plentiful in Associated Artists’ annual exhibit,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 4, 2007.
  • Utter, Douglas Max. “Off Their Pedestals,” Free Times, Volume 14, Issue 51, April 11, 2007.
  • Feaster, Felicia. "Anger vs. invention: Dueling images of artistic inspiration," CreativeLoafing.com, July 4, 2007, Visual Arts.
  • Tranberg, Dan. “Sculpture Center exhibit proves size doesn’t matter, at least in art,” The Plain Dealer, April 6, 2007, Art Matters.
  • Link, Melissa. "America On The Brink," Art Papers, March-April, 2007, 52.
  • Lewis, Zachary. “Pedastal & Off the Wall,” www.ClevelandScene.com, Arts & Entertainment, March 21, 2007.

2006

  • Hardy, Michael. "Sharing the Diverse Vision," Houston Chronicle, Oct. 6, 2006, Art.
  • Martin, Ryan. “Run For Your Lives!,” Glasstire, October 2006, Review.
  • Klaasmeyer, Kelly. “The End of Days,” Houston Press, Oct. 5, 2006, Art.
  • Stevenson, Bob. “Run For Your Lives” KUHF, The Front Row, Sept. 28, 2006. (NPR radio interview archived at http://www.kuhf.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=17988)
  • Skinner, Kelly. “Politically charged Art Exhibition Features Anti-Conservative Pieces,” The Red & Black, Sept. 11, 2006, 1, 5.
  • Sale, Beth. “Politics, Painting & Pottery,” Flagpole, Sept. 6, 2006, Art Notes, 13.
  • Kocmoud, Joy. “New Exhibit Opens At Greer Museum,” Gallipolis Daily Tribune, Feb. 10, 2006, A1, A5.
  • Weinstein, Tresca. “Artists Respond to Culture of Fear and Warnings,” Times Union, Jan. 15, 2006, Arts/ Events 1, 12.
  • Goepfert, Bob. “Exhibit In Sight,” The Record, Jan. 5, 2006, 34.

2005

  • Melissa Starker, "Tongues Untied," Alive, Aug 31, 2005, cover, 14.
  • Dan Tranberg, "Artists Play On Familiar Landscapes in Spaces Show," Plain Dealer, Sunday Arts, February 6, 2005, J3.
  • 2004
  • Cas Taddeo, "New Art '04 at the Kingston Gallery," Some Other Magazine, Art Section, September.
  • Cate McQuaid, "Three Shows Shake Up The Summer Doldrums," Boston Globe, August 20, 2004.

2003

  • "Buds 2," Sculpture Magazine, October, 2003, 58.

1997

  • Lisa Gray, "Too Hot for HSPVA," Houston Press, Press Picks, June, 1997, 26.
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