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Dennis Oppenheim (American, 1938–2011)
LOT ID: 79336
Stills from Stomach X-Ray, 1970

Collage, Photos and Text on Board
27.7 х 22 in. (70.36 x 55.88 cm.)
Signed, dated
Lot description
Artwork measures 27.7 x 22 inches (70.4 x 55.9 cm).

These X-ray stills, which come from a 30-minute-long 8mm film made by Dennis Oppenheim in 1970, are representative of the artist's unflinching use of his own body as a site and instrument for Conceptual art. The work also has art historical significance, dating from the extraordinary period between 1966 and 1972 when the Conceptual art movement came to international prominence.

Dennis Oppenheim (American, 1938-2011) was a Conceptual artist known for visually experimental and theoretically rigorous works that ranged from earthworks and performance pieces to unconventional sculptures, video art, photography, and works on paper. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Oppenheim was active in the pioneering effort to dematerialize the art object; during this time, he was best known for his Land Art pieces, including snow projects in northern Maine and the manipulation of wheat production processes according to a “strict aesthetic masterplan” (Dennis Oppenheim, “Square Pegs in Round Holes” exhibition catalogue, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1969). Oppenheim’s earthworks of this period were a response to Minimalism and its perceived limits. He was also well known for his body art. In one famous performance piece, staged in 1970, he hung between two cinder-block walls erected beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, acting as a kind of human bridge. Later in his career, Oppenheim created large-scale installations and sculptures that disclosed a penchant for the grandiose and the irreverent. Oppenheim’s work is represented in a number of museum collections and his work has been the subject of several retrospectives, including a solo exhibition at P.S. 1, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY in 1991. He died in New York in 2011.

Selected Public Collections:
Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Brooklyn Museum, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA
Tate Modern, London, England
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Stills from Stomach X-Ray by Dennis Oppenheim
  • Stills from Stomach X-Ray by Dennis Oppenheim
  • Stills from Stomach X-Ray by Dennis Oppenheim
  • Stills from Stomach X-Ray by Dennis Oppenheim
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