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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Dan Graham

b. 1942, USA

Dan Graham is an artist, writer, musician and intellectual whose practice over the last 50 years has combined the aesthetics and concerns of Minimalism with the fundamental inquiries of Conceptualism. Throughout a shape-shifting and wide-ranging practice, Graham has often utilised the human body to explore the role of the spectator. Although curators and critics have found Graham's oeuvre difficult to summarise—due in no small part to the artist's own elusiveness about his art—Graham's practice has long been an important reference point for later generations, if not a cornerstone of Conceptual art.

Graham grew up in Winfield and Westfield, New Jersey, and in 1963 moved to New York City, where he would later publish a series of texts on art, architecture, music and television. In 1964, at the age of 22, he co-founded the John Daniels Gallery, which exhibited the work of Minimalists and Conceptual artists such as Donald Judd, Robert Smithson, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt, the latter of whom had his first solo show at the space before it closed. Following the closure, Graham continued to write music and art criticism while using magazines as outlets for early text pieces—a move seen as a rejection of the elitist limitations of the white cube. Printed in a fashion periodical, Graham's 1965 work Figurative is a reproduction of a supermarket register receipt, while his most well-known early work, Homes for America (1966–7) is a photo-based essay published in Arts Magazine. Embracing the ephemerality of the periodical with a dry humour traceable throughout his practice, the work comprises a series of photographs of homogenous suburban houses, emphasising the similarities between the repetition of post-war residential architecture and the starkness of Minimalism as he saw it at the time.

Long-engaged with the Punk and Hardcore movements, in 1987, Graham designed the cover of Sonic Youth's album Sister, while his 55-minute 1982–4 quasi-documentary Rock My Religion draws parallels between rock-and-roll culture and religious ecstasy. In 2004, Graham collaborated with the punk group Japanther and the artists Laurent P Berger, Rodney Graham, Bruce Odland and Tony Oursler on the rock opera Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty, which featured puppets, live music, sound recordings and video projections. However, Graham is now most recognised for the combination of architecture and art in his 'pavilions'—although he has suggested he doesn't like the word, and prefers to refer to them as public sculptures. Begun in the late 1970s, the semi-functional sculptures combine curving mirrored glass, steel, and sometimes hedges and grass to distort perception and refashion the stoicism of Minimalist forms. Incorporating elements of bus shelters and skyscrapers, the semi-reflective pavilions act as bisecting structures and interventions in urban spaces, engaging a range of perceptual experiences, as artist/curator Peter Scott has written, 'from detached voyeur to entranced narcissist'.

In 2009, Dan Graham: Beyond (25 February–25 May, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; 25 June–11 October, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York), the artist's first significant American retrospective, was exhibited, co-organised by The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Elliat Albrecht | Ocula | 2017

Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Dan Graham contemporary artwork Dan GrahamUntitled, 2016 2-way mirror glass, aluminium, MDF and acrylic
42 x 107 x 125 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler
Kids Playing in Playground in Front ... by Dan Graham contemporary artwork Dan GrahamKids Playing in Playground in Front ..., 1984 Cibachrome
130.5 x 160.5 cm
Lisson Gallery
Untitled by Dan Graham contemporary artwork Dan GrahamUntitled, 2018 Stainless steel and two way mirror
107 x 107 x 91 cm
Lisson Gallery
Rock My Religion by Dan Graham contemporary artwork Dan GrahamRock My Religion, 1983–1984 Black and white and colour video, sound
Metro Pictures
Passage Intime by Dan Graham contemporary artwork Dan GrahamPassage Intime, 2015 Two-way mirror, stainless steel
230 x 514 x 270 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery
S-Curve for St. Gallen by Dan Graham contemporary artwork Dan GrahamS-Curve for St. Gallen, 2001 Two-way mirror, wood, steel
255 x 1600 x 347.5 cm
Hauser & Wirth
Aluminium and double-sided mirror by Dan Graham contemporary artwork Dan GrahamAluminium and double-sided mirror, 2011 71 x 107 x 107 cm Galeria Filomena Soares

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Arquiteturas do Imaginário at Galeria Nara Roesler, Rio de Janeiro
Open Now
15 February–30 March 2019 Group Exhibition Arquiteturas do Imaginário Galeria Nara Roesler, Rio de Janeiro
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Life to come at Metro Pictures, New York
17 January–16 February 2019 Group Exhibition Life to come Metro Pictures, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Dan Graham, Rock 'n' Roll at Lisson Gallery, London
3 October–3 November 2018 Dan Graham Rock 'n' Roll Lisson Gallery, Bell Street, London

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Dan Graham Ocula Conversation Dan Graham Artist, USA

The telephone has always struck me as an ideal medium through which to converse with Dan Graham—his timing and use of the rhythms of speech on the phone rarely fail to surprise and impress. When you interview Dan, you remember to keep out of his way—you wind him up, and off he goes. On the phone, even during an informal conversation, he...

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In Related Press

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'We Had to Create Something New': Klaus Biesenbach on Inventing the Berlin Biennale Related Press 'We Had to Create Something New': Klaus Biesenbach on Inventing the Berlin Biennale ARTnews : 7 June 2018

Many of the art spaces in early '90s Berlin were located in vacant, abandoned, often ruined buildings that artists had taken over. Artists were running studio collectives and co-ops, outfitting surprising storefronts, and creating nightclubs and music programs. One very influential artist for me was Daniel Pflumm, who was organizing the...

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US artist Dan Graham brings 'Greatest Hits' to China Related Press US artist Dan Graham brings 'Greatest Hits' to China Global Times : 15 November 2017

A total of more than 20 artworks, from videos to installation works, on display at Beijing's Red Brick Art Museum will give Chinese visitors a chance to look back at US artist Dan Graham's five-decade-long art career. Titled Greatest Hits, the exhibition will run until February 25, 2018.

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Critic’s Guide: Beijing Related Press Critic’s Guide: Beijing Frieze : 14 November 2017

From explorations into the varied meanings of 'Asia' to an uncomfortably personal solo show, highlights of the best shows across the cityDiscordant Harmony: Observations of Artistic Practices in East Asia at the Transition between the 1980s and 1990s, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum, 4 November – 4 February 2018.Beijing is the final stop in a...

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Dan Graham at Galeria Nara Roesler São Paulo Related Press Dan Graham at Galeria Nara Roesler São Paulo Artefuse : 12 September 2017

The first exhibition of Graham's work at Galeria Nara Roesler features Pavilion (2016), a new work created specifically for the occasion, in addition to six untitled maquettes (2011-2016) and the video work Death by Chocolate: West Edmonton Shopping Mall (1986-2005). Parallel to the exhibition, the Museum of Image and Sound will screen two of the...

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