Dave Ford: Block Museum - Northwestern University
Skip to main content

Dave Ford

Crew Profile: Dave Ford

Year you began at The Block: 2015

Can you tell us a bit about your background? What should we know about you?

Fun Fact: My first art preparator experience was working with Red Grooms de-instaling his work at Grand Central Station. When meeting he asked me only two things; if I made art and how old I was. Then he told me to make as much work as possible right Now! Great advice. Cool guy.

Memorable experience preparing an exhibition at the Block?

Any time a piece requires hammering 120,000 nails in a specific grid-like pattern on the wall it stays with you. It was also memorable not only because of the crew, which became a bit punchy after two weeks of these nails (at one point I smashed Esau’s finger as he trustingly held a nail for me to drive. Sorry, ‘bout that my friend) but also the artist who was present, Christine Aono, who was passionate about the work that held a lot of personal meaningfor her.

How does work as a museum preparator inform or influence your artistic practice? Or not?

Being around the art, I'm always on the lookout for color schemes in particular and I’ll take a picture so I can steal it later for my work. In the current show the Marisol sculpture was just killing me with the two pinks, red, gold, black and yellow. I’ll work that in sometime. There was a Robert Frank photo up a few years back that had several shifts with the black and white exchanging foreground and background dominance that was totally getting me into thinking about Franz Kline’s paintings. So just being around some serious art, I never know what’s going to grab me but I just keep my eyes open

Where have you been finding inspiration at this time?

From the Covid lockdown perspective, I don't think I’m inspired any differently from before but certain environmental and certainly time allowances have changed. I had begun drawings for a large window extension piece in our gallery and I was trying to figure out how I was going to build it between shows or after hours. With the shutdown and also this project with the Block it gave me the push to go forward with this build.

What can you share with us about the work you created for this project?

“The Two window conduit loop piece of 1100 Florence Ave” is the fourth in a series of window tunnels I’ve built in my different spaces over the past 20 years. The monster influence and total inspiration is from a show that John Roloff had at Lance Fung Gallery in New York in 1998. His piece removed a large portion of the 3rd-floor window facing Broadway and extended a clear box into the gallery which held various plants, I believe mostly moss, in a very “live” reclamation of the natural environment. Whereas Roloff was dealing with heavy issues of ecological strangulation perhaps, I am, typical of my work, a bit more light-hearted and struck by the playfulness of the push-pull of interior/exterior space. It is my intention that my series of pieces feel intentional architecturally and that the structures “belong” even though there is no conventional reason for them to exist. This latest conduit air tunnel pushes the whimsical characteristic with a Loop. As it is a work in progress I am curious to see if It can maintain a sense of ludicrous purpose.

View Work

Dave Ford


Contact Dave Ford: daveford326@gmail.com