' For more than 50 years, Graham has shaped a practice that encompasses curating, writing, pavilion architecture, video, photography, and performance in a trans-media mode. His research interests include the legacy of conceptualism and the trajectory of practices centred on the move from studio to a post-studio condition and contemporary modes of art production, circulation and display. In 1964 he began directing the John Daniels Gallery in New York, where he put on Sol Le Witt's first solo show.
Graham was born in Urbana, Illinois, in 1942, and grew up in New Jersey. He also exhibited works by Don Judd, Dan Flavin and Robert Smithson in group shows there. Dan Graham is an artist, writer, musician and intellectual whose practice over the last 50 years has combined the aesthetics and concerns of Minimalism with the fundamental inquiries of Conceptualism.
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When you interview Dan, you remember to keep out of his way—you wind him up, and off he goes. But the good thing is, they are actually doing translations. —[O] John Slyce is a writer and critic based in London, United Kingdom.
On the phone, even during an informal conversation, he has the uncanny knack of anticipating its end and is able to cut out the prolonged farewell by interjecting, when somehow you least expect it: 'Okay, bye! Slyce is a tutor at the Royal College of Art and is located in the painting programme in the school of arts and humanities.
Graham's rejection of the high-seriousness of modern art emerged at the same moment as Pop art in the early 1960s.
"I love magazines because they are like pop songs," he once explained about his early conceptual magazine works, "easily disposable, dealing with momentary pleasures." He infused his approach with a wide range of literary, anthropological, and scientific influences, from cybernetics and topology to the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre, Gregory Bateson, and Margaret Mead.
The following year he cofounded and directed the John Daniels Gallery, which exhibited the works of conceptual and minimalist artists such as Sol Le Witt, Robert Smithson, and Donald Judd.
Graham closed the gallery in 1965 because of insolvency and began instead to make art himself.