Dennis Oppenheim

1938 - 20111 artwork

About the artist

Dennis Oppenheim (1938- 2011) was an American conceptual artist, performance artist, land artist, sculptor and photographer. Oppenheim was born in Electric City, Washington. Soon after, his family returned to their home in the San Francisco Bay area. After earning a Master of Fine Arts (1965) degree from the Stanford University in Palo Alto, Oppenheim moved to New York in 1966, where he was an... Read moreDennis Oppenheim (1938- 2011) was an American conceptual artist, performance artist, land artist, sculptor and photographer. Oppenheim was born in Electric City, Washington. Soon after, his family returned to their home in the San Francisco Bay area. After earning a Master of Fine Arts (1965) degree from the Stanford University in Palo Alto, Oppenheim moved to New York in 1966, where he was an art teacher at nursery school and high school. Oppenheim had his first one-man show in 1968 at the John Gibson Gallery in New York City. Until his dead he lived and worked in New York City. Oppenheim’s land art included designs that were carved into fields of wheat, and he went on to use his own body in such performance works as Reading Position for Second Degree Burn (1970). Other works include Blood Breathe (1996), two giant inverted noses, and Lightening Bolt Man (2001), a corpse pinned to the floor by a fiberglass lightning bolt. In the 1990s he also began enlarging everyday items, such as paintbrushes and safety cones, to serve as the centerpiece of his installations.

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