For fifty years, Dan Graham (born 1943 in Urbana Illinois, died 2022 in New York) traced the symbiosis between architectural environments and their inhabitants. With a practice that encompassed curating, writing, performance, installation, video, photography and architecture, his analytical bent first came to attention with Homes for America (1966–67), a sequence of photos of suburban development in New Jersey, USA, accompanied by a text charting the economics of land use and the obsolescence of architecture and craftsmanship. Graham’s critical engagement manifests most alluringly in the glass and mirrored pavilions, which have been realised in sites all over the world. These instruments of reflection – visual and cognitive – highlight the voyeuristic elements of design in the built world; poised between sculpture and architecture, they glean a sparseness from 1960s Minimalism, redolent of Graham’s emergence in New York in the 1960s alongside Sol Le Witt, Donald Judd and Robert Smithson. Graham himself described his work and its various manifestations as ‘geometric forms inhabited and activated by the presence of the viewer, [producing] a sense of uneasiness and psychological alienation through a constant play between feelings of inclusion and exclusion.’ Considered himself first and foremost a writer-artist, Graham's writings and periodicals from the 1960s, including Figurative (1965) and Schema (1966), include published essays and reviews on everything from rock music and television culture to Dean Martin and Dwight D. Eisenhower's painting. These publications, predating Conceptual art, were a rejection of the limits of the art gallery’s ‘white cube’ format and an embrace of the ubiquity and disposable nature of monthly periodicals.
Represented by Lisson Gallery.
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