Dennis Oppenheim received international attention for a body of conceptual artwork that includes performance, sculpture, and photographs. In the early 1970s, Oppenheim was in the vanguard of artists using film and video as a means to investigate themes relating to Body Art, Conceptual Art, and performance. In a series of works produced between 1970 and 1974, Oppenheim used his own body as a site to challenge the self: he explored the boundaries of personal risk, transformation, and communication through ritualistic performance actions and interactions. EAI is pleased to present a selection of these early works, many of which are films that are available for distribution on video.
Oppenheim was born in 1938 in Electric City, Washington. From 1966 until his death in 2011, he lived and worked in New York City. Oppenheim received his B.F.A. from the School of Arts and Crafts, and an M.F.A. from Stanford University. He received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Oppenheim exhibited his works internationally in galleries and museums including solo shows at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; Galerie Pro Arte, Freiburg, Germany; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London, and the Joseph Helman Gallery, New York. He exhibited extensively in group shows at venues such as the Vancouver International Sculpture Biennale, Canada; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; Nam June Paik Art Center, Gyeonggi-do, Korea; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain; Tate Liverpool, UK; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Tate Modern, London; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and the Venice and Sao Paolo Biennales. Oppenheim was commissioned by many venues, including Ballerup Kommune, Copenhagen; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Olympic Park, South Korea and the Busan Biennale, South Korea.