Dan Graham

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Biography

The adoption of architectural vocabulary, a staple element in Graham’s work, is a way of emphasizing how our environment fundamentally structures our gaze.

Dan Graham was born in Urbana, Illinois in 1942 and currently lives in New York City. Since the late 1970s Dan Graham has created pavilions for gardens or urban contexts. The adoption of architectural vocabulary, a staple element in Graham’s work, is a way of emphasizing how our environment fundamentally structures our gaze.  The two-way mirror is an integral part of the pavilions, which allow light to enter the structure while protecting the privacy of those inside. In addition to the multifold play of reflection and reflexivity, this type of glass also makes us aware of the immediate past—a key notion in Graham’s work which he borrowed from Walter Benjamin and began exploring in the early 1970s through a variety of video-performances. In addition to his artistic practice Graham is also an accomplished writer and art critic.

Recently Graham's work has been included in exhibitions at the Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China (2017); the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio (2016); MAMo, Marseille, France (2015); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2014); the De Pont Foundation, Tillburg, Netherlands (2014); a traveling retrospective which began at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2009 and traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Graham has participated in the Venice BIennale in 2005, 2003, 1976 and multiple Documentas (1997, 1992, 1982, 1977, 1972). He was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters award, New York in 2010; the French Vermeil Medal by the city of Paris in 2001 and the Skowhegan Medal for Mixed Media, New York, 1992.

The adoption of architectural vocabulary, a staple element in Graham’s work, is a way of emphasizing how our environment fundamentally structures our gaze.

Exhibitions

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