Body Press, 1970-72
Dan Graham, who was born in Urbana, Illinois in 1942 and now lives and works in New York, is one of the most important American artists of his generation.
His position in the development of conceptual art and his significant influence on the video and performance art of the last thirty years is made clear by this comprehensive retrospective, which opens in the Düsseldorf Kunsthalle on 13th October 2002 after showing in Porto, Paris, Otterlo and Helsinki. The exhibition covers a wide span from the sixties to the present, from his earliest text pieces to his mirror pavilions, and includes photographs, video installations, models and plans.
One of the main focuses of the exhibition is his early performances, documented from the end of the sixties on film and video, which explore the relationship between the artist and the viewer and the surrounding space. By arrangement with the artist some of these early installations have been reconstructed especially for the exhibition. They allow the visitor to experience first hand Dan Graham´s fascination with the processes of perception and the structures of time.
In 1978 Dan Graham started translating the complex perceptual situations of his video installations into pavilions. Connecting architecture and sculpture, the pavilions cite a tradition which stretches from the garden pavilions of the Renaissance und Baroque periods via the conservatories of the late 19th century to the structures of today´s ´expos´ und ´biennales´, and contemporary bus shelters and telephone booths, thus linking them with the materials of the modern city. One of these pavilions has been temporarily installed in an outside space in Düsseldorf.
The exhibition in the Düsseldorf Kunsthalle is the only showing of the retrospective in a German-speaking country.
An exhibition catalogue is published (in German) by the Richter Verlag publishing house.