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
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...
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.
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...
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.
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...