Magazine article Sculpture

Dennis Oppenheim

Magazine article Sculpture

Dennis Oppenheim

Article excerpt


Storm King Art Center

Over a long and productive career, Dennis Oppenheim produced conceptual art, body art, earthworks, and sculpture. Now, five years after his death, the many phases of his artistic life are being celebrated as never before, in a perfect setting. His evolution from performance artist to creator of land projects and sculptural installations has found full-scale realization at Storm King Art Center (through November 13).

Grassy fields accommodate several land projects, originally designed in the 1960s and positioned outdoors for the first time. Sculpture installations have been completed with the foliage designated by the artist in his original sketches. Within Storm King's vast hills can be found works that have never been seen as Oppenheim envisioned them. For example, Dead Furrow, conceived in 1967 as one of Oppenheim's "viewing stations," has now been expertly fabricated to his specifications. Visitors are able to interact with a land project that had previously been shown only in an indoor gallery.

Dead Furrow is a monumental achievement, constructed of wood surfaced with organic pigment. The title refers to a trench formed by plowing. Here, the furrow is replicated with PVC pipe. Intended as a structure for viewing a vast terrain, the Storm King version includes a platform for visitors to climb in order to survey the surrounding landscape.

In Entrance to a Garden (2002), a painted steel rendition of a man's jacket and shirt forms a façade of architectural proportions, with an archway that allows passage into a small garden with benches. Here, Oppenheim joins art, architecture, and fashion by evoking men's clothing in a perforated steel construction.

Architectural Cactus Grove #1-6, which is enclosed by a wooded area, features six cactus forms of varying shapes, constructed of aluminum, translucent fiberglass panels, and colored aluminum sheets. …

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