Dan Graham was born in Urbana, Illinois in 1942 and relocated to New York in the early 1960s where he founded the John Daniels Gallery together with friends in 1964. Dan Flavin and Sol Le Witt, among others, exhibited there. Graham was director of the gallery up to its closure in 1965 and became artistically active himself soon after. In his richly varied work, which includes films, performances, videos, and architecture, as well as essays on art, architecture, and rock music, he explores individual perception in social space. He has always referred to concrete elements of quotidian culture, playfully combining minimalist forms with dead pan wit. Dan Graham has participated in a great number of major exhibitions since the 1970s and is considered to be among the most influential artists of his generation.
His early conceptional works, such as Figurative (1965) or Schema (1966), were self-published magazine ad-vertisements,that intended to short-circuit the cycle of art and art publications. Also included among these early works was his legendary photo-text essay “Homes for America” (1966), a documentation and analysis of suburban architecture. In films such as “Roll” and “Body Press” (1970), and in performances like Performer/Audience/Mirror (1975), Graham, influenced by psychoanalytic considerations, became involved with the perception of space and time, the consciousness of corporeality and the problems of interacting with the media. Dan Graham’s work has been influenced also by his participation in music and pop culture, and his cooperation with musicians, for example, Glen Branca or Sonic Youth, which led to videos such as “Rock My Religion” (1982-84). With Public Space/Two Audiences (1976) at the Biennale di Venezia, his work in architec-ture began to take concrete shape, culminating in a series of pavilions. His “New Design for Showing Videos” (1995), which he conceived specifically for the Generali Foundation, allows for the presentation of videos in-side an exhibition space and involves aspects of group dynamics. In addition to further architectural and archi-tecture-related works, the Generali Foundation has also gathered together Graham’s film installations and videos. (MV)