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Dan Graham

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Dan Graham


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Dan Graham by Beatriz Colomina
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Dan Graham is one of the most influential of the American Conceptual artists who first emerged in the mid 1960s as part of a generation that included the Minimalists Carl Andre, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt, with whom he was closely associated during that period. While their work offered a critique of the gallery's white club and of the value of material, Graham began to question the art system itself and decided to operate outside it. From 1965-69 he produced a series of texts such as "Schema" (1966) which he inserted into mass-market magazines. The periodical nature of magazine production and consumption was clearly related to the experience of time and change - a theme central to Graham's work ever since. In 1966-67 he also made a series of photographs showing details of suburban housing projects, new shopping precincts, truck depots and roadside diners, titled "Homes for America". Alongside the photos Graham's texts "deconstruct" social architectural spaces in ways which were far ahead of their time. From 1969-78 Graham worked primarily with performance, film and video, focusing, for example, on the synchronization of speech and breathing patterns between the artist and his audience. From 1974, with the installation/performance "Present Continuous Past(s)", Graham began to use two-way mirror walls in relation to real reflections and time-delayed video projections. These works evolved into the socially-based architectural projects such as open air pavilions, for which Graham is most famous internationally. These have included a "Skateboard Pavilion" in Stuttgart in 1989 and in the same year "The Children's Pavilion" (with Jeff Wall) and the "Star of David Pavilion" (Vienna, 1991-96). All of Graham's projects are democratically rooted in everyday urban life and activity, particularly children's play. His work is thus as valuable to architects and town planners as to the art community

Author Biography

Birgit Pelzer (Survey) is a widely-respected curator and critic who has been active since the late 1960s. Her publications include Gerhard Richter 100 Paintings (1998) and Michael Asher (1991) Her important writings on Conceptual art have been anthologized in Rewriting Conceptual Art (1999), ed.s Michael Newman and Jon Bird. Mark Francis (Interview) is a curator and critic, currently the director of the fig-1 project in London. He was previously the founding director and chief curator of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and has been a curator at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, the Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. He has organized exhibitions and written on Dan Graham's work since 1978. Beatriz Columina (Focus), one of the world's best known and most innovative architectural theorists, is Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at Princeton University. She is the author of Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (1994), Sexuality and Space (editor, 1992), and Architecture Production (editor, 1988). She is currently working on a book on the post-war American house and the relationships between domesticity and war. For his Artist's Choice Graham has selected an extract from the science fiction novel Ubik by American Philip K. Dick (1928-82), widely held to be one of the greatest science fiction novelists of the twentieth century. Ubik is considered one of his finest novels, where philosophical and existential questions of human life and ethics are played out by half-human, half-robotic characters. Dan Graham is well known for his prolific writings, which he views as part of his art practice. Highly influential, Graham's essays have been described by American critic Donald Kuspit as 'milestones in the study of the postmodern fusion of everyday culture and esoteric art into academic spectacle.' Graham was born in Urbana, Illinois in 1942 and lives and works in New York.
Release date NZ
July 26th, 2001
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Phaidon Press Ltd
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