Sunday, 20 December 2009

Dennis Oppenheim

". . .A paint medium used to draw me into the past . . . as a sensory catalyst . . . activating my reflections as a painter . . . an art student . . . during the 50s . . . I concentrate only on what is directly stimulated by the smell . . . the prevailing sense of turpentine. . ."--From the sound element of Recall DH

Carey Young after parrallel stress Dennis Oppenheim

Oppenheim turned away from using the human body to use surrogate puppets as an extension of himself, as ever altering his practice right at the point when registers of critical 'success' were imminent. In all of Oppenheim's work there is something reckless being put into action - from creating viewing platforms in the gallery to be looked from rather than at in the 60s (Viewing System for Gallery Space,1967), to arranging rocks to be thrown at himself in the 70s (Rocked Circle - Fear, 1971), building machines in the 80s to release fireworks and, in the 90s, turning his attention to the most excessive iterations of public sculpture. Other works are extraordinarily prescient of more recent practices - for example Ground Matters, 1969, used the sole of a shoe to mark out space while walking on sand - see Allora & Caldazilla - and Sterilized Surface Glass, 1969, blanked out gallery windows with white cleaning material to give the appearance of the gallery being closed - see Ryan Gander.

Lisa Le Feuvre Art Monthly

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