Dan Christensen (American, 1942–2007) was a painter who was part of the Abstract movement. Christensen was born in Cozad, NE, and studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, where he received a BA in Fine Art. After moving to New York City in the 1960s, he continued to experiment with his work.

In 1966, he hosted his first exhibition. He married Elaine Grove, and the two had three children. His work as a studio assistant with Jules Olitski and Ken Noland in the 1970s helped shape his career by allowing him to witness artists working with new forms of media. The artist initially worked in the Minimalist style, but he later expressed his freedom with Abstract work.

Christensen often used squeegees, paint guns, and other unusual items to create his work. Most of his work featured acrylic or oil paints on canvas, and featured Abstract shapes and designs in bright colors. He frequently used loops and rectangles in his art because he preferred the layered look. One of his more famous works is Serpens, which he created in 1968. This piece is now exhibited in the Spanierman Gallery in New York City. The piece features loops and swirls of different colors on a bright red background. The 1984 piece Bourbon Street also highlights his unusual painting style. The artist added blue swirls to a plain white canvas and finished the piece with a bright splash of yellow, added with a squeegee. Some of his later work was in the Contemporary style, including Midnight with Miro, which he finished in 1985.

Christensen garnered several awards over the course of his career. He won the Guggenheim Fellowship Theodora Award and the National Endowment Grant. Shortly before his death, he witnessed a retrospective on his work at the Spanierman Gallery. Following his death, several galleries, including the Spanierman Gallery, the Sheldon Museum of Art, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, exhibited shows devoted to the artist. The Fine Arts Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Meredith Long Gallery currently exhibit his work. Christensen died in 2007 in Springs, NY.

Timeline

1942
Born: Cozad, Nebraska
1964
BFA, Kansas City Art Institute
1967–1968
Art major, University of Nebraska
1968
National Endowment for the Arts Grant
1969
Guggenheim Fellowship Theodoran Award
1986
Gottlieb Foundation Grant
1991
National Endowment for the Arts fellowship grant for painting
1992
Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant
1996
New York Foundation for the Arts painting fellowship award
2007
Died Springs, East Hampton, New York

Exhibitions

2013
Sponder Gallery, Miami
2012
Dan Christensen: The Early Sprays, 1967-1969, Spanierman Modern, NY (catalog) (solo)
2011
Dan Christensen: Bars and Scrapes, LewAllen Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe, NM (catalog) (solo)
2011
Dan Christensen: The Stain Paintings, Spanierman Modern, NY, (catalog) (solo)
2011
Dan Christensen at the Armory Show, presented by Spanierman Modern (solo)
2010
Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Raton
2009–2010
Dan Christensen: Forty Years of Painting - Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE (solo)
2009
Dan Christensen: Forty Years of Painting, Spanierman Gallery (solo)
2009
Dan Christensen: Lyrical Spray Canvases, 1960’s to the 1990’s, LewAllen Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico (solo)
2009
Dan Christensen: Forty Years of Painting, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri (solo)
2009
Spanierman at East Hampton – Gallery Selections, Spanierman Modern, New York, NY
2009
Hand to Paper: The quiet sublimity of works on paper, LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico
2008
Loveparade 2 - Häusler Contemporary - Munich, Munich
2008
High Times, Hard Times. New York Painting 1967–1975 - ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe
2008
Gallery Selections - Spanierman Modern, New York City, NY
2008
Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Raton
2007
High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975, National Academy Museum, New York, NY
2007
Dan Christensen: PURE PAINTING, A Forty-Year Retrospective (1966-2006), LewAllen Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico (solo)
2007
Spanierman Modern, New York, NY (solo)
2007
“High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975,” National Academy Museum, New York, NY (solo)
2007
Los Angeles Art Show (exhibited by LewAllen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM) at Barker Hangar, Santa Monica, CA
Spanierman Modern, New York, NY
2006
On Paper -- From Sketch to Showpiece, Spanierman Modern, New York, NY
2006
Long Island Abstraction 1950s to Present, Spanierman Gallery, East Hampton, New York
2006
High Times Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina
2006
Group Show, Leif Hope’s Restaurant, 31 Race Lane, East Hampton, New York
2006
High Times Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina
2006
Pamela Williams Gallery, Amagansett, NY (solo)
2005
Dan Christensen: A Survey of Paintings and Graphics, Skot Foreman Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia
2005
Art and the Garden, Post-War and Contemporary Paintings of the Garden, curated by Ronny Cohen, Spanierman Gallery, East Hampton, New York
2005
Artists and Nature on Eastern Long Island: 1940s to the Present, Spanierman Gallery, East Hampton, New York
2005
Works on Paper, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2005
Wilder – A tribute to Nocholas Wilder Gallery, Joan T. Washburn Gallery and Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, NY
2005
Then and Now, Remy Toldedo Gallery, New York, NY
2005
Pamela Wilson Gallery, East Hampton, New York
2004
Black and White, Lizan-Tops, East Hampton, New York
2003
Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2003
Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, New York
2002–2003
Selections from a Retrospective, Parish Museum of Art, Southampton, New York, NY
2002
Big Paintings, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri
2002
Edmonton Contemporary Artists Tenth Anniversary Exhibition, Edmonton Art Gallery, Alberta, Canada
2002
Einfach Kunst, Neues Museum, Nuremberg, Germany
2002
Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2002
Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, New York
2001–2002
Dan Christensen: A Forty Year Survey, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
2001
Big Canvas – Paintings from the Permanent Collection, Sheldon
2001
Museum of Art, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
2001
Three East End Artists, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York
2000
Clement Greenberg: A Critic’s Collection, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon
2000
Salander O’Reilly Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1999
Paintings From The 90’s, Salander O’Reilly Gallery, New York (solo)
1999
The Art of Absolute Desire, New York, NY
1999
OM, Dorsky Gallery, New York, NY
1998
Richard Bellamy Memorial Show, P. S. 1, New York, NY
1998
Abstraction II, Salander-O’Reilly Gallery, New York, NY
1998
The Fanelli Show, O. K. Harris Gallery, New York, NY
1998
Regatta 98, Side Show Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, NY
1998
CS. Schulte Galleries, Millburn, New Jersey (solo)
1998
Dorothy Blau Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, FL (solo)
1997
Intimate Universe, James Howe Fine Arts Gallery of Kean University, Union, N.J.
1997
Automatic, Plan eat Thailand, Brooklyn, N.Y. (two person show)
1997
Abstracted and Unfixed, Art In General, New York, N.Y.
1997
Intimate Universe(Revisited), Robert Steele Gallery, New York, N.Y.
1997
Some Artists We Like, Robert Steele Gallery, New York, N.Y.
1997
Christmas at the Prado, Plan eat Thailand, Brooklyn, NY
1996
Miracle on Bedford St., Plan eat Thailand, Brooklyn, NY
1995
Plants, Animals, and Small Abstractions, Margulies Taplin Gallery, Miami, FL
1995
Seven Painters, Nicholas Alexander Gallery, New York, NY
1994
1969: A Year Reconsidered, Grey Art Gallery, New York, NY
1994
Douglas Drake Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1994
Gallery ISM, Seoul, Korea (solo)
1993
ACA Galleries, New York, NY (solo)
1993
Eva Cohon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois (solo)
1993
Vered Gallery, East Hampton, New York (solo)
1993
Important Works by Modern Masters, CS. Schulte Galleries, Millburn, New Jersey
1993
Small Paintings: Big Issues, Douglas Drake Gallery, New York, NY
1993
Eight Painters: Abstraction in the Nineties, Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati
1992
Les heros de la peinture americaine: L’exhibition inaugurale, Galerie Gerald Piltzer, Paris, France
1992
Vered Art Gallery, East Hampton, New York
1992
Celebrating Formalism, CS. Schulte Galleries, South Orange, New Jersey
1991
Present Tense, Springs Art Gallery, East Hampton, New York
1991
Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York, NY (solo)
1991
Douglas Drake Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1991
Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Beverly Hills, California (With John Griefen) (solo)
1990
Vered Gallery, East Hampton, New York, NY (solo)
1990
Before the Field: Paintings from the 60’s, Daniel Newburgh Gallery, New York
1989
Gloria Luria Gallery, Miami, Florida (solo)
1989
Vered Gallery, East Hampton, New York (solo)
1989
Deson-Saunders Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
1989
Important Works on Paper, Meredith Long & Company, Houston, Texas
1988
Farbfeldmalerei New York 1968 (with Lawrence Stafford and Peter Young), Galerie Rolf Ricke, Cologne, West Germany
1988
Douglas Drake Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1987
Lincoln Center Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1987
Douglas Drake Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1987
10th Season Gala Opening, Vered Art Gallery, East Hampton, New York
1987
Opening Exhibition, Douglas Drake Gallery, New York, NY
1987
Soghor, Leonard & Associates, New York, NY
1987
Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan (with sculptor Jay
1987
Gone Fishing, Graham Modern Gallery, New York, NY
1986
Artists of the Region Invitational, Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York
1985
Centennial Celebration: Highlights from Kansas City Art Institute Alumni Exhibition, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
1985
Baruch College Gallery, New York, NY
1985
Pop Op Plus, Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas
1985
Philip Johnson: Selected Gifts, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1984
Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York, NY (solo)
1984
Lincoln Center Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1984
Douglas Drake Gallery, Kansas City (solo)
1984
Il punto blu, Southampton, New York, NY (solo)
1984
Dan Christensen: Paintings, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas (solo)
1984
Bank of America, San Francisco
1984
Meredith Long & Company, Houston, TX (solo)
1983
Lincoln Center Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1983
Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York, NY (solo)
1983
Carson-Sapiro Gallery, Denver, Colorado (solo)
1983
Special Projects, curated by Dick Bellamy, P. S. 1, Brooklyn, New York
1983
Adam L. Gimbel Gallery, New York, NY
1983
Sarah Y. Rentschler Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York
1983
Oil & Steel Gallery, New York, NY
1982
Color II, Martha White Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky
1982
Points of View: 1982, The University of Oklahoma at Norman
1982
Kenneth G. Heffel Fine Art, Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia
1982
Ivory/Kimpton Gallery, San Francisco, California (solo)
1982
Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York, NY (solo)
1982
Douglas Drake Gallery, Kansas City (solo)
1982
Contemporary Paintings and Sculpture II: 1950-1981, Oil & Steel Gallery, New York
1982
46th Annual National Midyear Show, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
1981
New Work on Paper I, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (also shown at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas and at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California)
1981
Works on Paper, Harcus Krakow Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
1981
Nina Freudenheim Gallery, Buffalo, New York
1981
Kansas City, Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
1981
Dealer’s Choice, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri
1981
Sarah Y. Rentschler Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York
1981
Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York, NY (solo)
1981
Gallery 700, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (solo)
1981
Douglas Drake Gallery, Kansas City (solo)
1981
Meredith Long and Company, Houston, Texas (solo)
1981
Gloria Luria Gallery, Miami, Florida (solo)
1981
Harcus Krakow Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts (solo)
1980
Douglas Drake Gallery, Kansas City (solo)
1980
University of Nebraska at Omaha Art Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska (solo)
1980
Meredith Long and Company, Houston, Texas (solo)
1980
Meredith Long Contemporary Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1980
Dan Christensen/Carl Gliko – Recent Paintings, Carson-Sapiro Gallery, Denver, Colorado
1980
Works on Paper, Salander O-Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York, NY
1979
Meredith Long Contemporary Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1979
Douglas Drake Gallery, Kansas City (solo)
1978
Douglas Drake Gallery, Kansas City (solo)
1978
Meredith Long Contemporary Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1977
B.R. Kornblatt Gallery, Baltimore, MD (solo)
1976
Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1976
Douglas Drake Gallery, Kansas City (solo)
1975
Flaming Youth, 75 Warren St. Gallery, New York, NY
1975
Report from SoHo, Grey Art Gallery, New York, NY
1974
Contemporary American Colorfield Painting, Douglas Drake Gallery, Kansas City
1974
Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1974
Rothman’s Art Gallery, Stratford, Ontario (solo)
1973
Edmonton Art Gallery, Alberta, Canada (solo)
1973
The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut
1972
Nicholas Wilder Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1971
Galerie Ricke, Cologne, Germany (solo)
1971
Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1971
Six Painters, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York (also shown at the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland, 1971-72, and at the Milwaukee Art Center in Wisconsin, 1972)
1970
Nicholas Wilder Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1969
Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1969
Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1968
Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY
1968
Galerie Ricke, Cologne, Germany (solo)
1968
Noah Goldowsky Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1967
Noah Goldowsky Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1967
Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Public Collections

Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas
Robert Rowan Collection, Pasadena, California
St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D. C.
Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri
Ludwig Collection in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, Germany
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D. C.
Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri
Ludwig Collection in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, Germany
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St. Joseph, Missouri
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, Illinois
Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, Missouri
Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio
Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado
Edmonton Art Gallery, Alberta, Canada

Literature

1981
Elderfield, John. New Work on Paper. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1981 (catalogue)