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Dennis Oppenheim: An Appreciation
by John K. Grande

Contemporary art icon Dennis Oppenheim, who died of cancer in January, had his own way of doing things. From the beginning, his sculpture has been characterized by experimentation, a sense of the sublime, and a language of direct engagement. Born in Electric City, Washington, on September 6, 1938, Oppenheim orchestrated a lively expansion of art world possibilities through actions, performance, video, sculpture, Land Art, and, since the 1990s, numerous commissioned public artworks. After earning an MFA from Stanford in 1965, he moved to New York in 1966. His first one-person show in New York was at the John Gibson Gallery in 1968, followed by solo shows at Yvon Lambert in Paris and Françoise Lambert in Milan. Important exhibitions of his work have been organized by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montreal, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and P.S.1 in New York.

Entrance to a Garden, 2004.

Photo: Courtesy Longhouse Reserve



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