Paul Druecke received a B.F.A. in 1987 from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. In 1993, he started exhibiting with the Hermetic Gallery (1993-2001), an influential Milwaukee project space run by Nicholas Frank. Between 1996-2001, Druecke's one-person organization, Art Street Window, oversaw an innovative series of site-specific installations in vacant downtown storefronts. Druecke received a Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Established Artists in 2010. His work was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2014, he also contributed a site-specific project for Broadway Morey Boogie, organized by Marlborough Chelsea and the Broadway Mall Association in New York City.
Paul Druecke is described as a conceptual artist. His conceptual interests manifest as hybrid projects that combine vernacular materials, populist sentiments, subtle poetics, and a rigorous examination of site. Donna Stonecipher summarizes Druecke's nuanced art practice in her essay on his project Garden Path (2014), “As such, the work fits perfectly into Druecke's body of work, which ingeniously and tenaciously examines the fault lines of social space using a variety of idiosyncratic approaches.”
Druecke's A Social Event Archive (1997–2007) foreshadowed the role of social media in blurring boundaries between the personal and public. Andrew Goldstein, writes “A Social Event Archive is viewed as having prefigured social sites like Instagram by inviting people to give him personal snapshots that he then displayed.” David Robbins describes the Archive as “a People’s Photography,” saying the pictures reveal “the theatricalizing influence of cameras upon the human community.” and “... Paul Druecke is fascinated by the collective mind. The platform he’s invented employs both pictorial and structural means to present it.”
In 2000, Druecke christened a public expanse of concrete—that has no identifiable purpose—as Blue Dress Park. The project purposely blurred distinctions between artistic and civic agency by including city officials without seeking official sanction. For the ten-year anniversary of the park's christening, Druecke along with Sara Daleiden and numerous board members, formed the Friends of Blue Dress Park—a self-styled board that explores agency, legacy, and the social dynamics of board structure.
Writing about Druecke's five-city A Public Space (2003-2010), Stephanie Barber summarizes the project's deconstruction of authority and authorship, “Druecke's use of strangers and their perspectives in the creation of what is essentially a portrait is neither a collaboration nor could it be clearly be said to have been created by Druecke ... . It is a portrait of portraiture and portrait of interconnectivity and influence.”
A discussion of Druecke's work, co-authored with Amanda Douberley, is included in the anthology, Blackwell Companion to Public Art (2016). Druecke has published two books, Life and Death on the Bluffs (2014) and The Last Days of John Budgen Jr. (2010), with Green Gallery Press.
Druecke's work has been featured in Camera Austria, InterReview, and Art Forum's Top Ten List. It has been written about in Art in America, Art On Paper, MetropolisMag.com, Artlies, GlassTire.com, and New Art Examiner.
Whitney Museum of American Art Marlborough Chelsea Kolnischer Kunstverein Outpost for Contemporary Art Milwaukee Art Museum Contemporary Art Museum Houston Project Row Houses Indianapolis Museum of Art INOVA Lynden Sculpture Garden The Poor Farm Many Mini Residency Aurora Picture Show The Green Gallery Hermetic Gallery Liverpool Biennial
- Life and Death on the Bluffs, 2014 Green Gallery Press
Review by John Gurda, "A journal, a novel, but mostly a journal: entries cryptic and profound looped to create a fabric with recurring characters and repeated themes, notably the precious eternal interplay between land and life realized in a luminous piece of real estate on Milwaukee's East Side."
- The Last Days of John Budgen Jr., 2010 Green Gallery Press
- Wireless in Wisconsin, Michelle Grabner Archived 2015-12-11 at the Wayback Machine
- Urban Ingenuity, James Auer
- Green Gallery, Table of Contents
- Garden Path, Donna Stonecipher, exhibition catalog, Lynden Sculpture Garden
- 10 things the Whitney Biennial List will Tell Us, Andrew Goldstein
- Party Platform, David Robbins
- Return to Blue Dress Park, Mary Louise Schumacher
- A Public Space, Stephanie Barber
- Amanda Douberley, A Snapshot