(Urbana, Illinois, 1942)
For nearly half a century now Dan Graham has been producing a crucial body of theoretical and artistic work which addresses the social and ideological functions of contemporary cultural systems. With no other training than a high school education, at the age of 22 he founded the John Daniels Gallery in New York, where he put on group exhibitions with artists like Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Robert Smithson, as well as the first solo exhibition by Sol LeWitt. The economic failure of this venture and the lack of means of production led him to write about television, popular music and aspects of contemporary art. In 1965 he started work on Homes for America (1966-67), an essay with photographs that constitutes one of the seminal works of Conceptualism. During the 1970s he experimented with time and the spatial mediation of the body in performances and video works. Since the 1980s his work has been linked to the construction of pavilions of glass and mirrors, hybrids between architecture, sculpture and urban design that negotiate with the viewer the semiotics of the conception of the communal public space. His enormous influence is borne out by his participation in documentas 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 (1972, 1977, 1982, 1992 and 1997).