new-york

Dan Graham

Whitney Museum of American Art

OF ACTIVE ARTISTS over the age of sixty in the United States, Dan Graham may be the most admired figure among younger practitioners. Though never as famous as his peers Robert Smithson, Richard Serra, and Bruce Nauman, Graham has now gained, as artist-critic John Miller puts it, a “retrospective public.” Why might this be so? “Dan Graham: Beyond,” the excellent survey curated by Bennett Simpson of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (the show’s inaugural venue), and Chrissie Iles of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, offers ample reasons.

If Minimalism was a crux in postwar art, a final closing of the modernist paradigm of autonomous painting and a definitive opening of practices involving actual bodies in social spaces, its potential still had to be activated, and with his colleagues Graham did just that. (This moment is nicely narrated by Rhea Anastas in the catalogue

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