Dan Graham Revealed

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Thursday, June 25, 2009
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Girls Make-up Room, 1998-2000 (Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Zurich London)  

Girl's Make-up Room, 1998-2000 (Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Zurich London)

“Architecture,” Dan Graham claims, “is my favorite hobby,” and his work has long been a source of inspiration and ideas for architects from Herzog and de Meuron to SANAA. The most comprehensive American exhibition of his art went on view today at the Whitney Museum, through October 11.

Curated by Chrisse Iles and Bennett Simpson, Dan Graham: Beyond takes up the entire fourth floor of the museum, and given this space’s natural lighting, it is the perfect venue for Graham’s iconic reflective glass and metal structures.

Though Graham claims he was “never a conceptual artist,” the work he produced during the 1960s—and labeled conceptual by Lucy Lippard—is perhaps the revelation of the show. They are buried in cave-like rooms on the back of the fourth floor, and began Graham’s lifelong interest in the culture of everyday life. 

Figurative, 1965 (Collection Herbert, Gent, Belgium)

Figurative, 1965 (Collection Herbert, Gent, Belgium)

If this is not enough Graham for you, the catalogue includes some of his critical writings on art, architecture, and rock and roll, along with a cute manga by Fumihiro Nonomuro. The exhibit will feature accompanying lectures and discussions, including one with the musician Glenn Branca, whom Graham has championed for decades.

PS – While you’re there, take a relaxing break from Grahamiana and visit the Whitney’s excellent Claes Oldenburg show, which closes on September 6.

PPS – And also don’t miss the nice installation LA’s Jeffery Inaba just did at the old DIA space on West 22nd Street. Graham used to have an installation up there, before the arts foundation sold the place in 2004. But hurry, because the new piece is only there through Saturday.

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