HomePage Artists

b. 1942, USA

Dan Graham Biography

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.

Read More

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

Dan Graham Featured Artworks

View All (27)
Round and Around by Dan Graham contemporary artwork
Dan GrahamRound and Around, 2019Two-way mirror glass, aluminium, wood, acrylic, corian
Galerie Meyer Kainer Contact Gallery
Model Influenced by Moon Windows (variation C) by Dan Graham contemporary artwork
Dan GrahamModel Influenced by Moon Windows (variation C), 2017Clear glass, 2-way mirror glass, aluminium, plywood and acrylic
92.5 x 124.8 x 124.8 cm
Lisson Gallery Contact Gallery
Water Play for Terrace by Dan Graham contemporary artwork
Dan GrahamWater Play for Terrace, 2008Two way mirror glass, Sipo-Mahagony, stainless steel, larch, unique
695 x 220 x 327 cm
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle Contact Gallery
Glass Office Building/Window Highway Restaurant by Dan Graham contemporary artwork
Dan GrahamGlass Office Building/Window Highway Restaurant, 1978/19692 colour photographs
26 x 32.88 x 1.38 inches (incl frame)
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Fun for Kids at my Work in a Park in Manhattan, 2003 (For Parkett 68) by Dan Graham contemporary artwork
Dan GrahamFun for Kids at my Work in a Park in Manhattan, 2003 (For Parkett 68), 2003Piezo Ultrachrome Pigment print on Hahnemühle paper
32.9 x 41.9 cm
Parkett Contact Gallery
Untitled by Dan Graham contemporary artwork
Dan GrahamUntitled, 20162-way mirror glass, aluminium, MDF and acrylic
42 x 107 x 125 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
S-Curve for St. Gallen by Dan Graham contemporary artwork
Dan GrahamS-Curve for St. Gallen, 2001Two-way mirror, wood, steel
255 x 1600 x 347.5 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery

Dan Graham Recent Exhibitions

View All (9)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, (SELF) PORTRAITS at Parkett, Zurich Exhibition Space
22 February–30 September 2020 Group Exhibition (SELF) PORTRAITS ParkettZurich Exhibition Space
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Observations at Centre Pompidou x West Bund Shanghai
8 November 2019–30 August 2020 Group Exhibition Observations Centre Pompidou x West Bund ShanghaiShanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Dan Graham, New Work at Galerie Marian Goodman, Paris
7 November 2019–11 January 2020 Dan Graham New Work Galerie Marian GoodmanParis

Dan Graham Represented By

View All (7)
Galeria Nara Roesler contemporary art gallery in São Paulo, Brazil Galeria Nara Roesler New York, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad, St. Moritz
Lisson Gallery contemporary art gallery in Lisson Street, London, United Kingdom Lisson Gallery London, East Hampton, New York, Shanghai
Marian Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Marian Goodman Gallery New York, Paris, London

Dan Graham In Ocula Magazine

Dan Graham Ocula Conversation Dan Graham By John Slyce, London

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...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Dan Graham In Related Press

View All (8)
Preview Art Basel 2019 Related Press Preview Art Basel 2019 7 June 2019, ARTnews

Art Basel 2019 opens to the public on Thursday, June 13, with two preview days, on June 11 and 12. Some 290 galleries from 34 countries will show work at the Swiss fair, which runs through June 16.

Fade out copy.
Read More
'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 7 June 2018, ARTnews

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...

Fade out copy.
Read More
US artist Dan Graham brings 'Greatest Hits' to China Related Press US artist Dan Graham brings 'Greatest Hits' to China 15 November 2017, Global Times

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.

Fade out copy.
Read More
Critic’s Guide: Beijing Related Press Critic’s Guide: Beijing 14 November 2017, Frieze

From explorations into the varied meanings of 'Asia' to an uncomfortably personal solo show, highlights of the best shows across the city Discordant 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...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Click Contact Gallery under any Featured Artwork by Dan Graham to receive information on price and availability.


Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.