Dan’s MMC (Mostly Mid-Century) Home and Gallery
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Name: Dan Devening
Size/Type: Owned 1,400 sq. ft. two-bedroom condo in newly constructed three-flat
Years lived in: 4
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With a home steeped in self-described “MMC (mostly mid-century)” visual stunners, Dan Devening lives the way he works: with and surrounded by art. His gallery (Devening Projects + Editions) and personal studio are located just a few blocks from his residence, and the overlapping between home and work, art and object, furniture and design, provide this artist with what he believes are essential connections. With a work and show space practically in his own backyard, Devening’s done well to create a personal community of work, rest, and play:
For nearly as long as he’s been creating and curating his home — a welcoming light-flooded one, full of clean lines and an equal amount of both soft and dazzling colors — Devening has also been running his gallery:
devening projects + editions is a gallery and project space featuring challenging contemporary art projects by nationally and internationally established and emerging artists.
Enjoy this glimpse into both spaces, where organization, beauty, and detail abound.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My style: MMC (Mostly Mid-Century)
Profession: Artist, gallery director at Devening Projects + Editions, and faculty at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Inspiration: Herzog and de Meuron, the Farnsworth House, the Corbusier House in Berlin, Charles and Ray Eames, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Julius Shulman, Hella Jongerius, Donald Judd sculpture and furniture … and all the artists who have shown in my gallery. They continually surprise and inspire me.
Favorite Element: I bought my place because of the incredible light; I’m on the top floor of a three flat with light coming in on all four sides. I also love the roof deck. It runs the entire length of the building and offers amazing sunsets and views of Humboldt Park. Another favorite is the fireplace which I was able to design during construction. In terms of furniture I’m a big fan of my Martin Visser Spectrum couch which I picked up at Hollis in 2002; my Saarinen Womb Chair bought from David Carter at Pegboard Modern and the Norman Cherner arm chairs which I snagged at a house sale in Omaha for almost nothing. For the past several years, I’ve been picking up West German ceramics from flea markets during trips to Germany and Austria. That collection is growing to become more eccentric and colorful.
Biggest Challenge: I love the classic sculptural perfection of the mid-century pieces I have but would love to start mixing in more texture to create more warmth and coziness. I’m thinking about older wood pieces and bringing in some pattern.
What Friends Say: “Is it my turn to sit in the Womb Chair?”
Biggest Embarrassment: I have hundreds of books piled in neat stacks throughout my place but no fully functioning bookshelf.
Proudest DIY: I’m not much of a DIY kind of guy; most of that energy goes into the work I do in my studio and the gallery. But, my girlfriend Sarah is a total DIY genius so I get to take full advantage of her skillful ingenuity. She takes care of all my domestic rehabilitation including the transformation of my coat closet into a fully functional kitchen pantry. She’s really amazing!
Biggest Indulgence: I have an ever-growing art collection so, more often than not, my indulgences tend to go toward building that. Recent favorite acquisitions include editions by Sarah Morris, Christopher Wool, Wilhelm Sasnal and a set of drawings by Gerd Borkelmann. Another indulgence might be 35 Caesar Stoffi-designed Nagel candle holders I found in flea markets in Germany and carried back from a recent trip. It was actually more about endurance than indulgence because they added about 50 lbs. to the weight of my luggage.
Best advice: Consider how good art can add a dimension to your living experience that is as necessary and fulfilling as well-made and comfortable furniture. Do some research, get good advice and buy art that you love.
Dream source: Almost anything at a Wright auction.
David Carter/Pegboard Modern
The Furniture Shop for upholstery
Broadway Antique Market
Edgewater Antique Mall
Ravenswood Antique Mart
flea markets in Cologne, Berlin and Vienna
…and a secret guy in Detroit who shall remain anonymous
Images: Evan Thomas and Dan Devening as indicated in slideshow