Dennis Hopper

Fred Hoffman Fine Art

Life After On Canvas, 1983–97—a triptych and a 16 mm-film projection—shows Dennis Hopper, protected only by a box, surviving an explosion in what appears to be a rodeo or a stock-car-racing oval. Smoke billows and Hopper rises from the cloud to begin his postdetonation life. Whatever the work’s debt to Chris Burden’s body performances, this work gains much from being displayed with one of the most beautiful projectors imaginable—a found object that counterpoints the work’s disruptive effect with its elegance. Placing this work next to his 1967 sculpture Bomb Drop, a giant mechanical lever stored for years in the New Mexico desert in a sly riposte to government nuclear testing, underscored the fact that Hopper is interested in exploring the potentially volatile boundaries between art/not-art, life/death, implosion/explosion as a reaction to and consequence of living in the present.


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