PRINT October 1969

Dennis Oppenheim

MODERN AMERICA’S ATTITUDES TOWARD NATURE leave the artist odd man out. On the one hand nature is revered as an untouchable goddess; her major shrines—Yellowstone, Yosemite, etc.—dot the country. On the other hand she is raped hourly by that fine old virility symbol, the buck, with the mining, oil, highway, and tourist industries the major violators. A typical moderate, the earth-artist is caught in the middle. He advocates over nature neither a complete lack of control, nor abusive control. Since he is neither romantic nor practical, society calls him a kook.

One of the finest of such “kooks” is Dennis Oppenheim, a young artist originally from the West Coast who is now living in New York. Oppenheim’s bold, elegant imagination has helped reintroduce the actual countryside as a subject of serious art for the first time since landscape architecture, a genre prominent for two centuries, began

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