Jimmie Durham (American, b.1940) is a sculptor, essayist, and activist who first became active as a performer and writer during the American Civil Rights Movement, before moving to Geneva, Switzerland, where he studied at L'École des Beaux-Arts.

A Wolf Clan Cherokee, Durham spent several years working as a political organizer for the American Indian Movement between 1973 and 1981. In 1987, Durham moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he was based until moving to Europe in 1994. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Durham was featured in national and international exhibitions, including at the Whitney Biennial (where he was featured again in 2014), documenta IX, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Exit Art, the Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.

Since moving to Europe, Durham has created a number of anti-architectural sculptures, performances, and videos. He has had solo exhibitions throughout Europe, at MACRO in Rome (2013), MuHKA in Antwerp (2012), the Glasgow International Festival (2010) in Scotland, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2009), the Musée d'Art Contemporain in Marseilles (2003), the Museum Voor Actuele Kunst in the Hague (2003), the Kunstverein in Munich (1998), and the Wittgenstein Haus in Vienna (1996), among others.

The artist currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Timeline

1940
Born in Washington, Arkansas
1960
1960s active in theater, performance, and literature in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement
1964
Since then performances, textpublications, exhibitions
1965
First solo art exhibit in Austin, Texas
1969–1973
Lived in Geneva, Switzerland (street actions in Geneva)
1975–1979
Director of the International Indian Treaty Council, New York, representative of the American Indian Movement, United Nations, New York
1973–1980
Director of the International Indian Treaty Council and representative at the United Nations
1973–1980
representative at the United Nations
1975–1980
Co-editor of Treaty Council News, monthly journal of the International Indian Treaty Council, many international exhibitions, videos and films
1981–1983
Director of the Foundation for the Community of Artists (FCA), N.Y.C.
1987
Moved to Mexico
1994
Returned to Europe
2009
Survey at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Lives in Berlin, Germany

Exhibitions

2012–2013
Jimmie Durham. Streets of Rome and Other Stories. Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO), Italy (solo)
2012–2013
Jimmie Durham, Fondazione Morra Greco, Napoli, Italy (solo)
2012–2013
Crossing Bodies – Postcolonial Visions, Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico “Luigi Pigorini”, Rome, Italy
2012–2013
TABOO, MCA - Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
2012
Ja Natuurlijk, GEM Museum for Contemporary Art, The Hague / Museum of Photography / The Hague Municipal Museum, The Netherlands
2012
(d)OCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany
2012
A Matter of Life and Death and Singing, retrospective at M HKA, Antwerpen, Belgium (solo)
2012
kurimanzutto, Mexico City, Mexico
2012
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London, UK
2012
Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice, Italy
2009
Lyon Biennale, France
2009
Jimmie Durham retrospective, Musée d’ Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (solo)
2008
Manifesta 7, the European Biennial of Contemporary art, Trentino, Italy
2008
Art Basel 39, Switzerland
2007
Silvia Ocougne / Jimmie Durham, Metaphrase & Metathesis, Berlin, Germany

Literature

2005
The Second Particle Wave Theory, University of Sunderland and Banff, 2005
2005
The American West, exhibition curated by Jimmie Durham and Richard Hill, Compton Verney, England, 2005
2004
Jimmie Durham, Edizione Charta, Milano, 2004
2001
Stoneheart, CCA, Kitakyushyu, 2001
2000
Jimmie Durham. Mäßige Materialfehler. 9 etchings (42x32) and a text in portfolio. Ed. of 6 arab. & 6 rom. num. & sign. copies. Wiens Verlag, Berlin 2000
2000
Jimmie Durham. (Stadtplan). Offsetprint on Tyvek, 175x119. ed. of 50 num. & sign. copies. Berlin 2000
1998
Jimmie Durham. Between the furniture and the building / between a rock and a hard place. Cologne 1998
1996
Jimmie Durham. Der Verführer und der Steinerne Gast. Wien 1996
1995
Jimmie Durham, Phaidon Press, London 1995
1995
A comprehensive survey, Jimmie Durham, has been published by Phaidon Press, London in 1995
1993
Jimmie Durham. My Book, The East London Coelacanth ... . London 1993
1993
Jimmie Durham. A Certain Lack of Coherence. Writings on Art & Cultural Politics. 256 S., 21x14,5 brosch.. London 1993