Dennis Oppenheim

Dennis Oppenheim

American conceptual artist
Date of Birth: 06.09.1938
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Dennis Oppenheim
  2. Early Career and Move to New York
  3. Wide Range of Artistic Interests
  4. A Remarkable Approach to Art
  5. International Recognition
  6. Legacy and Passing

Biography of Dennis Oppenheim

Dennis Oppenheim was born in 1938 in Electric City, Washington, USA. He obtained a Bachelor's degree in 1964 from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, and a Master's degree in 1965 from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. It was during the 1960s that Oppenheim started his career in art.

Dennis Oppenheim

Early Career and Move to New York

In 1966, Oppenheim relocated from California to New York City, where he held his first exhibition. At the age of 30, Oppenheim already possessed an extraordinary talent as a conceptual artist and had all the qualities to make a significant impact on the art world. His first exhibition took place in 1968.

Dennis Oppenheim

Wide Range of Artistic Interests

Oppenheim's interests in the art world were diverse. He explored body art, landscape art, mechanical sculptures, video art, and his performances were always unique and strikingly original. In every aspect of his work, Oppenheim was an innovator. His works were instantly attention-grabbing and captured the interest of all observers. Whether it was his sculpture titled "Device to Root Out Evil," which was an inverted church standing on a spire, or his concentric circles in the snow across the border between Canada and the United States, Oppenheim's works were truly one-of-a-kind.

A Remarkable Approach to Art

"Most of my works start with an idea, and usually, I have multiple options for its realization," the artist once revealed in an interview. It is known that for one of his most famous body art works, Oppenheim lay under the sun for five hours with a book on his chest until his skin around the book got sunburned. This performance was named "Reading Position for Second Degree Burn."

International Recognition

Oppenheim spent the majority of his life in New York, and his exhibitions took place in significant art cities worldwide, including Paris, Geneva, Milan, and he also participated in the Venice Biennale. It was at the Venice Biennale where he presented his most famous work, "Device to Root Out Evil." Initially located in Vancouver, Canada, the artwork later found a permanent home at The Denver Art Museum.

Legacy and Passing

In late November 2010, Dennis Oppenheim was diagnosed with liver cancer. He passed away on January 22nd in New York City. Oppenheim was a prominent figure in American conceptualism, creating surreal wonders that were as recognizable as they were unexpected.