Seminal Conceptual Artist Dennis Oppenheim Dead at 72

01/24/2011 10:56 AM |

Dennis Oppenheim obit

The sculptor, land, installation, conceptual and performance artist Dennis Oppenheim, a Washington native who moved to New York in 1966, had his first solo gallery exhibition two years later, and had lived here ever since, died of liver cancer on Saturday. An early adopter and pioneer of land, video, body and performance-based art, his recent body of work was based in sculpture, installation and architectural forms, often transforming familiar building types like churches, homes and warehouses into massive and bizarre, sometimes even monstrous structures of steel. Much of his art evidenced a dark sense of humor. His most recent exhibition in New York, in the spring of 2009 at Janos Gat Gallery, featured sculptural mock-ups for many such large-scale, building-sized outdoor sculptures. A short selection of his expansive body of work after the jump.

Dennis Oppenheim, Accumulation Cut (1969)
  • Dennis Oppenheim, “Accumulation Cut” (1969)

Dennis Oppenheim, Exit for the South Bronx (1979)
  • Dennis Oppenheim, “Exit for the South Bronx” (1979)

Dennis Oppenheim, Impersonation Station (1988)
  • Dennis Oppenheim, “Impersonation Station” (1988)

Dennis Oppenheim, Engagement (1997)
  • Dennis Oppenheim, “Engagement” (1997)

Dennis Oppenheim, Bus Home (2002)
  • Dennis Oppenheim, “Bus Home” (2002)

Dennis Oppenheim, Electric Kisses (2009)
  • Dennis Oppenheim, “Electric Kisses” (2009)