Dan Graham

Dates: May 28 – Jun 22, 2024
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery (complex665)

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce our second exhibition with pioneering American artist Dan Graham from May 28 to June 22. Graham was at the forefront of many of the most significant developments in conceptual art. Investigating many disciplines from music, architecture, anthropology and astrology, Graham took in many different forms, including text, performance, architectural pavilion, and video and introduced subversive ideas into people’s daily lives. His work has been exhibited extensively, internationally and is represented in numerous private and public collections.

The exhibition consists of comprehensive collections of Graham’s work, and chronological development of his long career as an artist, described himself as a ‘provocateur’ and ‘rebel’. The presented works are also in Graham’s book Dan Graham’s New Jersey (2012). “Homes for America” (1966-67), which consists of half of the book, is a sequence of photos of suburban development in New Jersey, accompanied by a text charting the economics of land use and the obsolescence of architecture and craftsmanship. The other half of the book are the photographs he took in 2006, occasion of exhibition and research collaboration, a series of study trips that Graham conducted with faculty from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and other guests.

A series of two juxtaposed photographs is also introduced, taken in the same suburban cityscapes in 1960s, 70s, 80s, or 2000s, which show a multilayered element of repetition and difference, both spatially and temporally. A series of incorporating two mirrors to practice intersubjective realms is also introduced which started to be seen in the 1970s. Graham’s never changed interest in New Jersey, buildings, kitsch, and America can be seen through the series.

Secondly, the model which shows Graham’s interest in psychology and gaze, Clinic for a Suburban Site (1978). A speculative project that raises questions about the boundaries between public and private, the concepts of “inside” and “outside,” and the “traditional disposition of the family space” according to Graham. The facade of a building in an apparently typical American suburb has been replaced by glass, while the house’s interior is divided into public and private sections by a mirror. In doing so, Graham critiques the modernist ideal that the literal transparency of glass in architecture would also lead to social transparency. At the same time that the house’s inhabitants can gaze at the environment and activity outside, they themselves become objects on display, and this concept is connected to Graham’s next development of the pavilion series.

Graham’s critical engagement manifests most alluringly in the glass and mirrored pavilions, which he has designed since the late 1970s. The Two-way mirrors within the pavilion, create unexpected reflections and voyeuristic elements simultaneously watching oneself and being able to watch others. Three models of the pavilion is Graham’s last work unveiled in 2022, poised between sculpture and architecture, drawing attention as instruments of expression, psychological strongholds, makers of social change and prisms through which we view others and ourselves.

Dan Graham was born in 1942 in Urbana, Illinois, raised in Winfield Township, New Jersey. For fifty years, he had spent most of his career in New York and passed away in 2022.
Graham’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China (2017); the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio (2016); MAMO, Marseille, France (2015); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2014); the De Pont Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands (2014); a traveling retrospective which began at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2009 and traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Graham participated in the Venice Biennale in 2005, 2003, 1976 and multiple documenta (1997, 1992, 1982, 1977, 1972). He was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters award, New York in 2010; the French Vermeil Medal by the city of Paris in 2001 and the Skowhegan Medal for Mixed Media, New York, 1992.
Within Japan, the exhibition, Dan Graham by Dan Graham, was first presented at the Chiba City Museum of Art in 2003 and subsequently traveled to the Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art in 2004.

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