by Shraddha NairJan 21, 2020
Daniel ‘Dan’ Graham is a conceptual artist, writer and curator born in 1942 in Illinois and raised in New Jersey, USA. Apart from being an acclaimed writer and critic, Graham dabbles in a variety of media such as sculpture, installation, performance, photography and film. In the late 70s, he began creating pavilions for gardens and urban environments, incorporating an architectural element into his practice. Graham believes that our surrounding spaces can influence the structural basis of our worldview, and that inspires him to create installations that toy with the line between architecture and art. He has created these sculptural walkways for venues like Lisson Gallery and Liverpool Biennale in the past and on November 7, 2019, Graham opened a show at Marian Goodman Gallery Paris with a new pavilion titled Neo-Baroque Walkway.
The Neo-Baroque Walkway, similar to his previous pavilions, comprises two wave-shaped walls made of stainless-steel frames and two-way mirrored glass, which creates a path for the viewer to enter and experience a visually distorted perspective as they walk through the structure. Graham pays keen attention to the physical and visual experience of the viewer in this installation, making this immersive installation suggestive of alternate realities or ways of seeing. The artist, Dan Graham, says, “Experiencing Neo-Baroque Walkway, the spectators walk through a narrow passage between two convoluted sine wave-like opposing two-way mirror coated glass walls. The two sides of convoluted forms slightly vary. The experience for the viewer involves a somewhat psychedelic, optical distortion of the spectator’s body which might be superimposed on images of other spectators’ bodies”.
The exhibition shines a spotlight on this recent artwork by Graham, and also incorporated the screening of two films by him — Rock my Religion and Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30 into the first week of the show.
In a fascinating curatorial decision, the artist becomes the muse in a series of illustrations and paintings by Graham’s partner, the Japanese artist Mieko Meguro. The works depict Graham in a variety of playful and intimate moments as seen by Meguro.
Graham currently lives and works in New York. He has had retrospective exhibitions at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009); Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2001); Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1997); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1993); the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth (1985); Kunsthalle Berne (1983) and The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago (1981). In 2015, he exhibited his pavilions in France on the rooftop of the Cité Radieuse de Le Corbusier (MAMO) in Marseille and at the Place Vendôme in Paris. In 2014 he was invited by the New York Metropolitan Museum to participate in The Roof Garden Commission, whereas the Dutch De Pont Foundation presented the exhibition Models and Beyond. He has participated in Documenta V (1972), VI (1977), VII (1982), IX (1992), and X (1997) and in the Skulptur Projekte (1987) and (1997). He has also been a recipient of numerous awards including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (2010), the French Vermeil Medal, Paris (2001), and the Coutts Contemporary Art Foundation Award (1992).
The exhibition will run till January 11, 2020, at Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris.