VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Humanities POSTED ON: 6/25/2010
With similar flattoned objectivity, Graham sharply criticized the depersonalization and standardization of American life in "Homes for America" (1966-67), a project for Arts Magazine on the large-scale suburban housing developments of the period. The most striking - if idiosyncratic sequences juxtapose scenes from Shaker communities (which rejected sexually based marriage, resurrected the preindustrial family, and centered their worship on circular dancing) with scenes from rock concerts, the Woodstock Festival of 1969, hippie buses, and many a gyrating pelvis.
the last Word Looking Glasses Leo J. O’Donovan A religion of revelation under- stands God as addressing us from beyond our experience, not apart from it. It helped me to remember that when visiting what may be the most engaging encounter between faith and culture in New York these days. That would be Dan Graham: Beyond, a retrospective of the tic (perceiving a line connecting Puritanism to capitalism to the A- contemporary American artist’s work at the Whitney Museum of bomb). You might quarrel with any of Graham’s interpretations in American Art (through October 11). The show includes sculpture, the video, but you won’t forget them. prints, drawings, video, and film installations. The video essay’s emotional fervor is juxtaposed in the exhib- Born in Urbana, Illinois, in 1942, and raised in New Jersey, Gra- it with Graham’s cool, geometric “pavilions,” which he began to ham in 1964 founded and briefly ran the John Daniels Gallery in create in the early 1980s. At their best, these site-specific architec- New York City. It featured conceptual and Minimalist artists, such tural installations—made of steel, plate glass, and two-way mir- as Sol Le Witt and Donald Judd. Graham’s own first conceptual rors—are dazzling perceptual puzzles that reflect human interaction pieces were for magazines in the mid-1960s.They included cash- and complexity. Feeling fat, or a bit lonely? Stand outside the top register receipts that played deadpan counterpoint to the glossy of Graham’s Heart Pavilion (1991) and its folded curves will make commercial ads with which they were paired. With similar flat- you as thin as you like (even a Giacometti-like model) and prompt toned objectivity, Graham sharply criticized the depersonaliza- conversations with other visitors (of all ages, as I found out). tion and standardization of American life in “Homes for America” Better still is Graham’s Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts (Vari- (1966–67), a project for Arts Magazine on the large-scale subur- ation E) (1989/2007), placed before the protruding angular win- ban housing developments of the period. dow on the Whitney’s fourth floor. Viewed at different angles, this By the early 1970s, Graham began exploring how the human seven-foot-high piece morphs from a triangle to a hexagon to a body is perceived in space. One of his most engaging efforts is parallelogram. With a circular opening on one s
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