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(1938 – 2011), USA

Dennis Oppenheim Biography

Dennis Oppenheim received international attention for a body of conceptual artwork that includes performance, sculpture, and photographs. In the early 1970s, Oppenheim was in the vanguard of artists using film and video as a means to investigate themes relating to Body Art, Conceptual Art, and performance. In a series of works produced between 1970 and 1974, Oppenheim used his own body as a site to challenge the self: he explored the boundaries of personal risk, transformation, and communication through ritualistic performance actions and interactions. EAI is pleased to present a selection of these early works, many of which are films that are available for distribution on video.

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Oppenheim was born in 1938 in Electric City, Washington. From 1966 until his death in 2011, he lived and worked in New York City. Oppenheim received his B.F.A. from the School of Arts and Crafts, and an M.F.A. from Stanford University. He received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Oppenheim exhibited his works internationally in galleries and museums including solo shows at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; Galerie Pro Arte, Freiburg, Germany; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London, and the Joseph Helman Gallery, New York. He exhibited extensively in group shows at venues such as the Vancouver International Sculpture Biennale, Canada; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; Nam June Paik Art Center, Gyeonggi-do, Korea; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain; Tate Liverpool, UK; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Tate Modern, London; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and the Venice and Sao Paolo Biennales. Oppenheim was commissioned by many venues, including Ballerup Kommune, Copenhagen; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Olympic Park, South Korea and the Busan Biennale, South Korea.

Text courtesy Wooson Gallery.

Dennis Oppenheim Featured Artworks

Theme for a Major Hit by Dennis Oppenheim contemporary artwork
Dennis OppenheimTheme for a Major Hit, 1974Motor driver marionette, 2-hour recording, circular stage, spotlight
76.2 x 25.4 cm
Wooson Gallery Contact Gallery

Dennis Oppenheim Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Homage to Korea at Wooson Gallery, Daegu
27 June–7 September 2019 Group Exhibition Homage to Korea Wooson GalleryDaegu
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Screen Memory at Simon Lee Gallery, London
10 February–11 March 2017 Group Exhibition Screen Memory Simon Lee GalleryLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Dennis Oppenheim, Dennis Oppenheim at Wooson Gallery, Daegu
9 April–13 June 2015 Dennis Oppenheim Wooson GalleryDaegu

Dennis Oppenheim Represented By

Dennis Oppenheim In Ocula Magazine

RoseLee Goldberg: Performance Then and Now Ocula Conversation RoseLee Goldberg: Performance Then and Now By Fawz Kabra

RoseLee Goldberg had long been invested in contemporary performance art before her founding of the inter-disciplinary arts organisation Performa in New York in 2004. Born in Durban, South Africa, Goldberg studied political science and fine arts at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and then art history at the Courtauld...

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Dennis Oppenheim In Related Press

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Dennis Oppenheim and Josephine Halvorson shift our perspective with oversize sculptures Related Press Dennis Oppenheim and Josephine Halvorson shift our perspective with oversize sculptures 2 September 2016, Hyperallergic

Have you ever wanted to walk through a large shirt? Whether or not you’ve entertained the notion, it is now a real possibility at Storm King Art Center. The upstate New York sculpture park is currently home to a super-sized sculpture of a collared men’s shirt and tie, conceived by Dennis Oppenheim. The work serves as an archway to a...

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A dialogue with nature: Dennis Oppenheim at Storm King Related Press A dialogue with nature: Dennis Oppenheim at Storm King 25 July 2016, Art in America

Nature has always been a source of inspiration for artists, and landscape remains a favored subject for many. In the late 1960s, a group of artists, including Robert Smithson, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, and Dennis Oppenheim, among others, came up with the revolutionary idea to consider land itself as a medium, inherently laden as it is with...

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Dennis Oppenheim, a sculptor who moved heaven and earth Related Press Dennis Oppenheim, a sculptor who moved heaven and earth 11 July 2016, The New York Times

From his Minimalist earthworks created in remote places in the 1960s to Pop-Surrealist public sculptures for urban settings in the 1990s and 2000s, Dennis Oppenheim was dedicated to the proposition that art should be open to the world rather than cloistered in galleries and museums. So it is appropriate that he should be this year’s featured...

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Art Brussels announces details of Discovery, Rediscovery and Solo sections Related Press Art Brussels announces details of Discovery, Rediscovery and Solo sections 9 April 2016, Art Fix Daily

From April 21 to 24, the 34th edition of Art Brussels will take place in a new location, Tour & Taxis, a spectacular example of industrial architecture built in 1904, formerly a customs house. This year, the fair has been reduced in size, bringing together 141 galleries from 28 countries, represented in three main sections: PRIME, DISCOVERY and...

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