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Dennis Oppenheim

Broken Record Blues

January 27, 2018 - March 17, 2018

Peder Lund is pleased to present an important installation work Broken Record Blues (1976) by the artist Dennis Oppenheim (1938-2011). Oppenheim was one of the most adventurous American artists working during the post-minimalism, postmodernist period of the mid-1960s, all the way until his death in 2011. A pioneer of earthworks, body art and Conceptual art, Oppenheim later moved to making tangible installations and public sculpture. His eclectic body of work, from whimsical large-scale installation pieces, to performance and video art, to three-dimensional moving machine pieces, were metaphorically linked by their continued investigation of the dialogue between art and the self. Belonging to a generation of artists who saw portable painting and sculpture as obsolete, Oppenheim explored the idea that became so popular during the mid-1970s: the absent artist. By using sound as a means of sculptural expression or obfuscating himself in the so-called “surrogates” from his post-performance pieces, Oppenheim attempted to create a new kind of self-portrait. Oppenheim responded to what he saw as artists’ of the day “extreme paranoia” in the re-evaluation of their work and the overwhelming sense of withdrawal from what had been the incredible velocity of work produced in the 1960s. From the beginning, Oppenheim felt that “art was always a thing to be attacked.”

Broken Record Blues has been included in a number of important solo and group exhibitions including the Dennis Oppenheim retrospective at Museum Boymans-van-Beuningen, Rotterdam (1976); Carmina Urbana at Musei de Spoleto, Spoleto (1992); Presenze at Centro Espositivo della Rocca Paolina, Perugia (1993); and Forty at MoMA PS1, New York (2016). Oppenheim received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1969, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in 1974 and 1982, an Excellence in Transportation award from the State of California in 2003, and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Vancouver Sculpture Biennale in 2007. His work is included in dozens of international public art collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Centre d’Art Plastique Contemporain, Bordeaux, France; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; Emanuel Hoffmann-Stiftung, Basel; The Institute for Contemporary Art, P.S.1 Museum, Long Island City; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, among many others.

Broken Record Blues, 1976

Dennis Oppenheim