The son of Norwegian Lutheran pastors going back 6 generations, John Preus (rhymes with choice – b. 1971) spent his early years barefoot under a cathedral of trees in Makumira, Tanzania, then grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and northern Wisconsin.

After receiving his bachelors in studio art, Preus studied hand-tool woodworking with master furniture-maker John Nesset. He went on to fabricate for Nesset, followed by many other artists and designers.

Preus co-founded SHoP, a community art space in Hyde Park Chicago with Laura Shaeffer (2011), and Material Exchange with Sara Black (2005). and collaborated with Theaster Gates on the Dorchester Projects, and was project lead for 12 Ballads for Huguenot House, at Documenta 13, the culmination of a 6 year collaboration with Gates.


for questions about available artworks, contact one of Preus’s gallery representatives.

Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago. 

Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco.

Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia.

2018-Present CPS Lives Artist in residence, with Sullivan High School, Chicago
2019 Interpreter in Residence, year-long residency. Smart Museum. University of Chicago 2018 Mitchell Lecture, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2018 Visiting Lecturer, Montserrat College of Art.
2017 Visiting Lecturer UIUC Champagne-Urbana
2017 Juror – ACRE residency
2016 Adjunct professor of sculpture, Northwestern University
2016 Juror – Maker Grant, Chicago Artists Coalition
2016 listed in Chicago Art 50 published by Newcity
2015 Visiting Artist -Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN
2011-2013 Co-founder and co-director-SHoP (southside hub of production)
2011-2013 Lead fabricator,creative director for Theater Gates Studio
2008 Adjunct faculty, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2008 Adjunct faculty, City of Chicago, Truman College
2006-2008 Lead Fabricator for artist Dan Peterman
2005 Teaching Fellow, University of Chicago

2020 A STATE OF THE UNION, Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia
2019-2020 ADAPTATION Smart Museum, University of Chicago, in conjunction with the Harris School pf Public Policy.
2019 TASTE OF CHICAGO. Chicago Cultural Center Art Garden Commission
2018 INFINITE GAMES: EXCERPT. Curated by John Preus, SAIC-AIADO department gallery 2018 THE BEAST:HERD MENTALITY. Montserrat Art Academy, Beverly, MA. 2017 INFINITE GAMES 50/50, curated by John Preus, Open House Contemporary, with Rhona Hoffman Gallery
2017 BUNKER FURNISHINGS, The Outhaus. Champagne Urbana. IL

2016 JOHN PREUS: NEW WORK, The Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2016 THE RELATIVE APPETITE OF HUNGRY GHOSTS, The Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
2014 JOHN PREUS: ON DRAWING, Vogelmann Kunsthalle, Heilbronn Kunstverein, Heilbronn Germany
2014 THE BEAST, Hyde Park Art Center, gallery 1, Chicago, IL
2014 SLOW SOUND, Audible Gallery/Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago, IL

2020 BETWEEN YOU AND ME, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI
2019 ART MIAMI- Pentimenti Gallery/Rena Bransten Gallery
2018 PULSE – Miami. Pentimenti Gallery, and Rena Bransten Gallery
2018 INTO THE WOODS, Rena Bransten Gallery
2018 ART BASEL-Miami, THE ARMORY SHOW, ADAA. Rhona Hoffman Gallery
2017 ART BASEL-Miami, THE ARMORY SHOW, ADAA. Rhona Hoffman Gallery
2017 PULSE-Miami, Rena Bransten Gallery.
2017 EXPANDED CHICAGO GALLERY WEEKEND, solo booth – Rhona Hoffman Gallery 2017 THE CITY BEAUTIFUL, The Donnelley Foundation, Chicago
2017 THE CURE, Weinberg Newton Gallery, with the Shriver Center for Poverty Law, Chicago 2017 THE NEW YORK ARMORY AND ADAA FAIR, NYC, with Rhona Hoffman 2016 40TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION, PART 3. Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago 2016 PULSE MIAMI, Rena Bransten Gallery
2016 MIAMI/BASEL, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Miami FL
2016 EXPO Chicago, Rhona Hoffman Gallery and the Rena Bransten Gallery.
2016 THE NEW YORK ARMORY FAIR, with Rhona Hoffman Gallery.
2016 ART DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, NYC, with Rhona Hoffman Gallery 2016 THE ELMHURST BIENNIAL, Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst IL
2015 MIAMI/BASEL, with Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Miami FL
2015 THE FREEDOM PRINCIPLE, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. 2015 REGENERATION, Ryerson Woods Nature Center, Chicago
2015 AN INVISIBLE HAND, David Weinberg Gallery, Chicago,
2015 DIVISION OF LABOR, Glass Curtain Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago. 2015 EXPO CHICAGO, with Rhona Hoffman gallery.
2014 A SPECTRUM OF IMMERSION. operetta directed, written and composed with Leroy Bach (Wilco), starring soprano, Sarah Lawrence and tenor, Calland Metts. performed in The Beast at the Hyde Park Art Center.
2014 THE SWING AND THE WALL. SHoP @ the Comfort Station.

2013 METAMORPHOSIS, Noyes Cultural Center, Evanston, IL.
2013 SPONTANEOUS INTERVENTIONS: design actions for the common good. US pavilion at the Venice architecture biennial, re-exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center. 2013 REMODELING HOME, Home Gallery, chicago.

2013 NEW MATERIAL- performances with instruments made of broken furniture. New Material has performed at the MCA Chicago, Dock 6, The Elmhurst Art Museum, Black Cinema House.

2012 SLOW RECOVERY, Dock 6 annual exhibition, Chicago.
2012 THREEWALLS CSA (community supported art) commission to make 35 objects, sold as a package with 3 other objects from csa artists, to local collectors.

2012 YOU COMPLETE ME @ Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Mi.
2012 ANTHEM/REQUIEM-Huguenot House, Kassel , Germany, during Documenta 13. 2012 THIS HOUSE IS NOT A HOME-SHOP, Chicago.
2012 P-SAD, Harold Washington College, Chicago.
2012 co-curator with laura shaeffer, toward a union of public artists, SHOP, chicago. 2012 co-curator with laura shaeffer, on making things matter: strategies for preservation, SHOP .
2011 chicago co-curator with laura shaeffer, this house is not a home, SHOP, chicago.

2019 Smart Museum Commission
2019 Chicago Cultural Center/Taste of Chicago project
2017 Efroymson Foundation Grant

2016 NEA grant awarded to Montserrat college of art in Beverly, MA for The Beast: Herd Mentality
2016 Nominee – USA artist Fellowship
2016 DCASE individual artist grant
2015 Propeller Fund
2015 Finalist-Artadia Arts Fund.
2014 Finalist-Creative Capital.
2014-2015 Efroymson Fellowship Award
2014 Maker Grant, 1st prize.
2014 DCASE individual artist grant
2014 Graham Foundation awarded to the Hyde Park Art Center for programming in the Beast
2014 Illinois Humanities Council -awarded to the Hyde Park Art Center for programming in the Beast.
2012 Threewalls Community Supported Art Prize
2012 Propeller Fund Award, with Laura Shaeffer and Jim Duignan.
2012 project stipend and travel grant for “You Complete Me” @ the Devos Art Museum, Northern Michigan University,

2019 Interpreter in Residence. Smart Museum of Art, Chicago
2018 -PRESENT. CPS Lives artist residency – Sullivan High School. Chicago
2016 Kaplan Residency, Northwestern University Fellowship
2015 Artist in Residence, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Partner School Initiative- John Hancock College Prep
2015 Visiting Artist – ACRE artist residency
2013-2014 Jackman-Goldwasser resident, Hyde Park Art Center
2010 Visiting Artist – Harold Artist Residency, Ohio

2019 Preus Included in ACROSS THE ART/LIFE DIVIDE by Martin Patrick. Published by Intellect
2018 THE BEAST: HERD MENTALITY. catalog published by Montserrat College of Art in conjunction with the exhibition.
2018 ART AS SPECULATION. published in Legacy Arts Magazine. Issue 15. pp.14-17 2017 RAFAEL SUCKS. RAHM BLOWS. published by the Invisible Institute and Jamie Kalven.

2013 ON LOVE AND LABOR: Thoughts That Accompanied the Making of a Table. Proximity Magazine, Summer.
2012 ANTHEM/REQUIEM-John Preus for, Theaster Gates: 12 ballads for Huguenot House. Walter Konig press. pp.
2012 ANTICIPATING DEPARTURE. AREA magazine. Chicago.
2012 RELATIONAL PROSTHETICS – exhibition catalog for YOU COMPLETE ME at the Devos Art Museum
2011 THE WORLD AS TEXT-exhibition catalog

Left Behind, review of Infinite Games by Glenn Adamson for January 2019 issue of Craft Magazine.
The Beast, discussed in Across the Art/Life Divide: Performance, Subjectivity, and Social Practice in Contemporary Art, Martin Patrick, Intellect press, New Zealand, 2017
Radio program on WBEZ Chicago public radio by Linda Lutton featuring Preus’s work with CPS materials. 2018
Work featured in 3 page spread in Legacy Magazine. 2018
Infinite Games 50/50 reviews: Best of 2017 in Chicago Tribune. 12.14.2017. Feature review in the New Art Examiner. Reviewed in German design magazine, Bauwelt. Massenware-mit- Gebrauchsspuren-Chicagoer-Biennale-John-Preus-3045581.html. Reviewed by Susan
Snodgrass on blog, In/Site: reflections on the Art of Place
Top 5 Commercial Gallery Exhibitions. The Relative Appetite of Hungry Ghosts at Rhona Hoffman. New City, 2016
Chicago Art 50, listed among Chicago’s top 50 artists of 2016. New City
Meditating on the Personal and the Public; A Review of John Preus at Rhona Hoffman Gellery, Fogt, Brent, New City Chicago, 2016
Rhona Hoffman Gallery Opens Exhibition of Works by Spencer Finch and John Preus,, 2016
Artist-Designer John Preus; And, Also, Too, Norman, Lee Ann, Daily Jstor, 2016
Eye Exam; Going Down Swinging; Review of John Preus at Rhona Hoffman, Reichert, Elliot, New City, 2016
Chicago’s Best Visual Art in 2014, (The Beast). Waxman, Lori, Chicago Tribune,

12.12.2014 Children Welcome: Art by Chicago Parents, Waxman, Lori, Chicago Tribune. Jan 28. 2015 Die Politik des Handwerks. Roeschman, Dietric. Artline Kunstmagazin. 10. 2014
Wie Alles Zusammenhängt. Sommer, Andreas. Heilbronn Gazette, Sept. 5. 2014

John Preus in the Belly of the Beast, Waxman, Lori, Chicago Tribune, June 26, 2014
Artist Profile, Artslant, with Thea Liberty Nichols
Into the Belly of John Preus’s Beast. Levitt, Aimee, Artist Profile, Chicago Reader, April 10. 2014. p. 33
Profile of the Artist: John Preus. Sethi, Shreya Ashok. New City, April 2014.
You Should Know Chicago Artist John Preus. Foumberg, Jason. Chicago Magazine. April 11. 2014
Hyde Park Art Center Will Expand with New Wing For More Artists. (features the Beast) Cholke, Sam. DNA INFO. April 14. 2014
The Beast/75 Years of the Hyde Park Art Center. Litoff, Nina. The Seen. April 22, 2014 Kickstarter Aids Chicago Hyde Park Art Center’s Anniversary Show. (featuring the Beast) Dluzen, Robin. April 10. 2014
Hyde Park Art Center newsletter-feature profile. March 2014
Ballads from a Bedpost, Peter Margasac, Musicworks, pp. 32-33, Spring 2014
Craftsman Preserves ‘Social Memory’ by Reconfiguring Desks, Tables, Chairs. Dawn Turner. Chicago Tribune 10.28.13
Collaboration Through Craft. Circling Back Into That Thing We Cast Forward: A Closing Read on Gestures of Resistance. Bloomsbury Press, 2013. Shannon Stratton and Judith Lehman pp. 219-232
The Real Estate Artist. New Yorker, Jan. 20. 2014, p.29
A Room With a Brew: on Red Flags Pub in SHoP, Ise, Claudine. Chicago Magazine, feb, 2012 theaster_gates_12_ballads_for_huguenot_house_documenta_13_2012/.
The World as Text. Ise, Claudine. critics’ pick, Artforum, july 29, 2011
Booked Solid: “the World as Text” immerses visitors in artists’ publications. Weber, Candice. Timeout Chicago, july 14, 2011
An Alternative Summer Reading List. Waxman, Lori. the Chicago Tribune, july 14, 2011
A More Imperfect Machine: Sara Black and John Preus Invoke the Demiurge in Portland. Stabler, Bert. Proximity Magazine. spring/summer 2010, p. 122.
The Art of Recycling. Moore, Anne Elizabeth. The Progressive Magazine. march 2010 issue. A Guide to Democracy in America. Thompson, Nato. edited by Creative Time. New York, new york. 2008.