Dennis Oppenheim  (American, 1938-2011) 

Dennis Oppenheim (American, September 6, 1938–January 21, 2011) was a conceptual artist, earth artist, sculptor, photographer, and performance artist, who was instrumental in the Performance Art and early Land Art movements. Oppenheim was born in Electric City, WA, and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA, in 1964. Oppenheim went on to study at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, where he earned his Masters of Fine Arts in 1965.

In 1966, the artist relocated to New York, where he taught nursery school and high school art. During this time, he worked to prepare for his first exhibition, which took place in 1968. Oppenheim also participated in the exhibit Earthworks in 1968 at the Dwan Gallery in New York, along with such artists as Michael Heizer (American, b.1944), Robert Smithson (American, 1938–1973), and Robert Morris (American, b.1931). In 1968, he became fast friends with Vito Acconci (American, b.1940) and began to work in body art, producing such works as Reading Position for Second Degree Burn (1970).

By the early 1970s, Oppenheim was among the artists who combined video and film with their performances. One of his solo exhibitions took place at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1979. By the early 1980s, he had started to work on his machine pieces, which were immediately followed by the transformation of everyday object in art. By the 1990s, Oppenheim was commissioned to create large public pieces in many major cities all over the world. He received fellowships from both the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and was included in the Johannesburg Biennale and the Venice Biennale in 1997. The Vancouver Sculpture Biennale recognized him for Lifetime Achievement in 2007. Oppenheim's final work was Swarm (2011), which is located on the campus of Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, CT. The swarm of birds consists of tinted cast acrylic birds on rolled stainless steel frames with a misting system. Oppenheim died of liver cancer in 2011.

Find Dennis Oppenheim artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
envelope Get email alerts about this artist!  
Artworks for sale (15)
In Art Galleries (15)
Dealers selling (19)

Sold Artworks
In Past Auctions (606)

Exhibitions (1)

artnet Magazine
Articles (28)

More Information
artnet Analytics Reports
Market Reports
* paid service

Artworks for sale (15)

View All   

Dennis Oppenheim, Branded Mountain


Dennis Oppenheim
Branded Mountain

Track 16 Gallery
Dennis Oppenheim, Star Skid


Dennis Oppenheim
Star Skid

Haines Gallery
Dennis Oppenheim, Rolling Explosion for Martin Margulies


Dennis Oppenheim
Rolling Explosion for Martin Margulies

Compagnia dell'Arte
Dennis Oppenheim, Branded Mountain


Dennis Oppenheim
Branded Mountain

Montrasio Arte
Dennis Oppenheim, Whirlpool - Eye of the Storm


Dennis Oppenheim
Whirlpool - Eye of the Storm

Elizabeth Clement Fine Art
Dennis Oppenheim, An Attempt to Raise Hell (Detail)


Dennis Oppenheim
An Attempt to Raise Hell (Detail)

Serge Ziegler Galerie
Dennis Oppenheim, An Attempt to Raise Hell


Dennis Oppenheim
An Attempt to Raise Hell

Serge Ziegler Galerie
Dennis Oppenheim, Heavy Dog Kiss


Dennis Oppenheim
Heavy Dog Kiss

Montrasio Arte
Dennis Oppenheim, Study for second generation image- Ghost Toast


Dennis Oppenheim
Study for second generation image- Ghost Toast

Wiegersma Fine Art
Past auction results (606)  View All
Dennis Oppenheim, Devil's Hole


Dennis Oppenheim
Devil's Hole, 1979


View Details
Dennis Oppenheim, Tar Wells


Dennis Oppenheim
Tar Wells, 1978


View Details
Dennis Oppenheim, Untitled


Dennis Oppenheim


View Details

1938   Born in Electric City, WA
1958 - 1965   Studies Art at College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland
1965   Master-Degree at California Stanford University
1967   Resides in New York City
1969   Professor of Art an der University of Yale und der State University of New York
1971   Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship
1974   National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
1981   National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
1982   Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muoller, Otterlo, Holland
1984   Laumier Scuplture Park, St Louis, Missouri
1988   Olympic Park, Seoul, South Korea
1996   Ballerup Kommune, Kopenhagen
  Stipendium der Guggenheim Foundation und National Endowment for the Arts
  Died on Jan 21 in New York
2012   Dennis Oppenheim - Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2011   Dennis Oppenheim - Musée d'Art moderne de Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne
2011   Ecstasy… Body, Art, Land - Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montreal, QC
2011   Dennis Oppenheim - Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2010   The Body as Sculpture - Dennis Oppenheim - Musée Auguste Rodin - Paris, Paris
2010   Early Works - Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2010   Dennis Oppenheim - Galleria Fumagalli, Bergamo
2009   Jarmuschek + Partner, Berlin, Germany
2009   Electric Kisses, Marta Herford, Herford, Germany
2009   Performance Films 1970-1974, Ar t Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, SA
2008   Drawings, Ball State University Museum of Art, Muncie , IN
2008   Safety Cones, Seattle Art Museum , Seattle, USA
2008   Edelman Arts, New York, USA
2008   Bending Nature, Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio (USA)
2008   That Was Then ... This Is Now, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York
2008   Dennis Oppenheim and Open Space, Open Concept Gallery, Grand Rapids MI, USA (solo)
2008   The Dennis Oppenheim Weeks. Retrospective, Kunstraum Potsdam (Germany) (solo)
2008   Experimental Films and Videos by DENNIS OPPENHEIM (1970-74) and ANNELIES STRBA (1997-2006), Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie, Zürich, Switzerland (solo)
2007   What does the Jellyfiish want?, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
2007   Montrasio Arte , Milano, Italy
2007   Studies, Drawings and other works, Galerie Sandrine Mons, Nizza, France
2006   Photo-Kunst der letzten 40 Jahre in der Graphischen Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany
2006   busy going crazy. the Sylvio Perlstein collection, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
2006   Artists at Work, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI
2006   Irritation des Gleichgewichts, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland
2006   Lovely Shanghai Music, Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai
2006   Crisis of Modernism: The Post-Minimal Rebellion", Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
2006   Center for Contemporary Art, CCA Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu (solo)
2006   Galerie Pièce Unique, Paris, France (solo)
2006   Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY (solo)
2006   New Moment Ideas Gallery, Belgrad, Serbia (solo)
2005   Galleria In Arco, Turin, Italy (solo)
2005   Centro Cultural Bancaja de Valencia, Valencia, Spain (solo)
2005   Sala de Exposiciones de Verónicas, Murcia, Spain (solo)
2005   Casa de la provincia, Sevilla, Spain (solo)
2005   De la comtesse De Castiglione à Cindy Sherman, † Galerie de France, Paris, France
2005   Superstars - Das Prinzip Prominenz. Von Warhol bis Madonna, Kunsthalle Wien / Kunstforum Wien, Austria
2005   Videographies – The Early Decades – Cycle I and II, National Museum of Contemporary Art - EMST, Athens, Greece
2005   EXIT- Ausstieg aus dem Bild, ZKM | Museum für Neue Kunst & Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany
2005   Slide Show , CAC - Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
2005   Overhead / Underfoot - The Topographical Perspective in Photography , Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
2005   Les Grands Spectacles - 120 Jahre Kunst und Massenkultur, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria
2005   Modèles modèles, Mamco - musée d´art moderne et contemporain, Genf , Switzerland
2005   The Last Picture Show - Artists using Photography 1960-1982, Miami Art Central, Miami, FL
2005   Personal Mythologies - Earlier, Recent and Future Acquisitions, The Contemporary Museum Honolulu, Honolulu, HI
2005   Das Biest und andere Dämonen - Gemälde und Grafiken, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany
2004   Círculo de Bellas Arte, Madrid, Spain (solo)
2003   Centro Cultural Sa Nostra, Palma de Mallorca, Spain (solo)
2003   Nevada Museum of Art, Reno NV (solo)
2002   Joseph Helman Gallery, New York (solo)
2001   Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Irland (solo)
2001   Guild Hall, East Hampton, U.S.A. (solo)
2001   Ludwig Forum, Aachen; Germany (solo)
2001   Musee des Beaux-Arts d'Arras, Arras, France (solo)
1997   Documenta X, Kassel, Germany
1997   Stefan Stux Gallery New York, New York
1996   Manheimer Kuntsverein Germany, Palazoo Delle Exposizioni Rome, Italy
1996   Museum of Comtemporary Los Angeles, CA
1993   Selected seminal works from 1967 to the present, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zürich, Switzerland
1984   Tel Aviv Museum of Art Tel Aviv, Israel
1982   Metaphor, Hishorn Museum Washington, DC
1981   Whitney Biennale Italy
1974   Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Holland
1972   Tate Gallery London, England
1970   Information, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1969   Ocean Project, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
  Museu Serralves , Porto
  Museum of Contemporary Art , Chicago
  Museum of Contemporary Art , North Miami
  Neue Galerie , Graz
  Nevada Museum of Art , Reno
  SMAK Gent
  University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum , Tampa
  Zentrum für Zeitgenössische Kunst Schloss Ujazdowski , Warschau
  Castello di Rivoli , Turin
  Contemporary Art Museum Honolulu
  International Artists' Museum , Lodz
  Kiasma - Museum of Contemporary Art , Helsinki
  Kunstmuseum Bonn
  Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  Mamco Genf
  MIT List Cisual Arts Center , Cambridge / MA
  Musée d'Art Contemporain , Marseille
  Musée d'Art moderne de Lille M6tropole , Villeneuve dAscq
2001    Oppenheim Explorations Germano Celant, Charta, Milano
1997    Sculpture in the Age of Doubt, Thomas McEvilley, Allworth Press, New York
1997    Dennis Oppenheim, Germano Celant, Charta, Milano
1996    Dennis Oppenheim, Fundacao De Serralves, Porto
1995    Dennis Oppenheim Land Art 1968-78, Vestsjaellands Kunstmuseum, Storgade, Denmark
1994    Dennis Oppenheim Obra 1967-1994, Ajuntament de Barcelona, Barcelona
1992    Dennis Oppenheim, Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona
1991    Dennis Oppenheim Drawings, Barbara Rose, La Difference, Paris
1990    Dennis Oppenheim: Selected Works 1967-90, Thomas McEvilley and Alanna Heiss, Harry N. Abrams Inc. and the Institute for Contemporary Art, New York
1984    Dennis Oppenheim, The Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv
1979    Dennis Oppenheim, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel
1978    Dennis Oppenheim, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris
1977    Dennis Oppenheim: Retrospective Works 1967-1977, Musee d'Art Contemporain, Montreal
1974    Dennis Oppenheim, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
1974    Dennis Oppenheim, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam