Dan Graham was born in Urbana, Illinois, in 1942 and moved to New York in the early 1960s, where he and friends founded the John Daniels Gallery in 1964, where Dan Flavin and Sol Le Witt, among others, exhibited. Graham ran the gallery until it closed in 1965, and soon after began to become active as an artist himself.
In his diverse body of work, which includes essays on art, architecture, and rock music as well as film, performance, video, and architecture, he explores individual perception in social space. In doing so, he always refers to concrete elements of everyday culture and playfully combines minimalist forms with dry humor. Dan Graham participated in almost every important exhibition since the 1970s and is one of the most influential artists of his generation. He died in 2022 in New York, USA.
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 architecture-related works, the Generali Foundation has also gathered together Graham’s film installations and videos. (MV)