Exhibit at the Garrison Institute

i am a visiting artist at the Mind and Life Meeting, June 15-21st, Garrison, NY.

I was invited to exhibit artwork and give a talk at the Mind and Life Meeting at the Garrison Institute in NY in June this year.  This meeting features a discussion between neuroscientists, meditators, artists, and researchers in the contemplative disciplines.  I am honored to be a part of it. You can also see some of my art hanging there at the moment.

More information here:


“You wish your neurons were this pretty” in Wired Magazine

by Greg Miller


When Greg Dunn finished his Ph.D. in neuroscience at Penn in 2011, he bought himself a sensory deprivation tank as a graduation present. The gift marked a major life transition, from the world of science to a life of meditation and art.


Now a full-time artist living in Philadelphia, Dunn says he was inspired in his grad-student days by the spare beauty of neurons treated with certain stains. The Golgi stain, for example, will turn one or two neurons black against a golden background. “It has this Zen quality to it that really appealed to me,” Dunn said.


read fill article here:


The Minimalist Brain – on Science Friday


Halfway through his PhD program in neuroscience at UPenn, Greg Dunn was inspired to try a new experiment: using the brain structures he was seeing in the lab as the subject matter for his minimalist Asian-inspired paintings.
“In grad school, I would be looking at these images all day, and I was already on an Asian-art wavelength,” Dunn says. “One day I saw some images of Golgi-stained neurons, and I thought, ‘They’re sort of similar to these Zen paintings I’ve done.’  So I started experimenting, blowing ink around on a page. And it looked like neurons to me.”


A Fractal Solution to the Universe – an interview at Buddhist magazine Tricycle

An interview about the connections to my meditation practice and the specific techniques I use in painting.

An interview with “neuro-painter” Greg Dunn

web exclusive

If you’ve perused the current issue of Tricycle, you’ll have seen the beautiful and intricate artwork that illustrates our article about the convergence of Buddhism and neuroscience, “A Gray Matter,” by Columbia University professor of Japanese religion Bernard Faure. If these images seem hauntingly familiar, it’s for a reason. They’re of the neurons in our brains! The artist behind them, Greg Dunn, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a doctorate in neuroscience last year. Since then, he’s been focusing on painting in his easily identifiable style: a modern, science-based twist on the ancient East Asian brush painting technique of sumi-e. Like the Buddhist monks who first practiced sumi-e, Dunn grounds the creation of his art in meditative practice—a sumi-e painting, as Dunn and many others before him have pointed out, is a reflection of the artist’s internal state.

Dunn’s artwork was like nothing the Tricycle editors had seen before, and we were curious to find out exactly how he did it. Tricycle’s Alex Caring-Lobel and Emma Varvaloucas caught up with Dunn via email last month to find out more about the neuro-painter’s creative process.

Greg Dunn


Read full interview here:,0 


Meet me at SfN in October

I will be exhibiting at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans starting October 11th in the lobby of the convention center!

I will have gold leaf paintings, scrolls, prints, etc. available for viewing and purchase.  I will be in Lobby E on Saturday Oct. 13th, 1-5pm, and Sunday 14th – Tuesday 16th 10-4pm.

Please stop by to say hello if you have a moment to spare.



Article in the French blog – “The Brain From Top to Bottom”

You can google translate the whole article if you don’t read French. Its so poetically written.

Mais il est une autre dimension de la nature, tout aussi spectaculaire que celles-là, et je dirais plus fondamentale encore puisque sans elle toute la diversité du comportement animal n’existerait pas. Je parle bien sûr de la complexité de nos cellules nerveuses, tant dans leur forme, qui n’est pas sans rappeler celle des arbres, que dans leur organisation entre elles, digne de la forêt vierge tropicale (où ce qu’il en reste…).


Full article here:


Art and its Connection to Science – interview

The Brain’s Artistry: A Conversation with Neuroscientist and Artist Greg Dunn

Though art and neuroscience may initially seem like severely different disciplines, artists and neuroscientists have more in common than one might think. For example, as Dunn himself proclaimed, “Part of being an artist or a scientist is living your life with the intent to solve a problem: wanting to know more about something that you’re interested in, and allowing yourself to become utterly obsessed and consumed by the problem.” It appears that Dunn has done exactly that, and in the process has produced some captivating pieces of art and compelling scientific theories. The Airspace had a fascinating opportunity to have a conversation with Dr. Dunn about the science behind his art, and the art behind his science.


An Interview Published at The Huffington Post

Neuroscience Art: Greg Dunn’s Neurons Painted In Japanese Sumi-e Style – interview with Greg.

Some of the works, like “Hippocampus II,” give those of us who do not spend a lot of time around a microscope a look at the complex architecture of our neurons. And then there are the occasional stumpers that are impossible to decipher as neuron or nature. “Two Pyramidals,” for example, look like upside down dandelions far more than, as Dunn explained over the phone, “a type of neuron found in the brain that integrate information received from their dendrites, process it, and transmit it to other cells through its axon.”


Read the full article:


Exhibit at Howard Hughes medical institute

Fifteen works are currently on display at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm campus in Ashland, Virginia.  This exhibit will be taken down and reinstalled at the HHMI headquarters in Washington DC on May 1st, 2012, and will be exhibited until July 2012.


Interview on The Beautiful Brain

Interview and online gallery posted on the Neuroscience themed online publication The Beautiful Brain by Noah Hutton:

Beneath all, what do you find beautiful about the brain?

GD:It is literally the most complicated object in the known Universe!  The tremendous knot of cells when connected in a certain way gives rise to a strange sense of “I” that is able to ponder and learn things about its environment.  It is an utter miracle, and is at the root of why we are conscious beings able to appreciate this world and all of its beauty. How can you not love it?

Full article at:


Hippocampus II appears on the cover of the journal Neurosurgery.

Hippocampus II appears on the cover of the journal Neurosurgery, along with a full length article written by journalist David Haldeman.

…Dunn is a 6th year PhD candidate in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, and his approach to art mirrors his scientific background. He uses pipettes to deliver precise
amounts of pigment to the canvas, creates wet lab-style
workflow protocols so that he can accurately reproduce techniques later, makes digital mock-ups of a project before putting his brush to canvas, and uses his knowledge of chemistry to precisely manipulate the variety of materials he utilizes in his work. Further, Dunn’s knowledge of the visual system deeply informs his creative process. Continue reading


Posting at the science/art blog Bioepherma

I used to have a beautiful gold Japanese folding screen, which was purchased by my great-grandmother’s feisty sister on a trip in the 1920s. I loved the gold patina and the surprisingly modern impact it had on my wall. At the moment, it’s loaned to a friend, but looking at Greg Dunn’s artwork, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the best aspects of my screen: the gold leaf, crisp black patterns, and way that the scene seemed half natural, half abstract.

Full article at:


Exhibit at the Burrison Gallery, University of Pennsylvania

At the Burrison Gallery, located inside the University Club at the Inn at Penn, the artwork of graduate student Greg Dunn couples art with science in an eye-catching exhibit.

“Neurons and Nature,” a collection of work by Dunn, a fourth-year graduate student in neuroscience at Penn Medicine, is on display through Aug. 6. Dunn’s paintings are inspired by his study of neurons – the cells that make up the brain – his admiration of Asian art and his love of nature.

Art meets science at Burrison Gallery – full article here: