Dennis Oppenheim  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Dennis Oppenheim (1938 – January 22, 2011) was an American conceptual artist, performance artist, earth artist, sculptor and photographer who was born in Electric City, Washington. In 1964, he earned his BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California and an MFA from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California in 1965. He moved to New York in 1966 where he first taught nursery school and then high school art while working toward his first one-person exhibition in New York, held in 1968 when he was 30 years old. Oppenheim's early work tended to focus on human and animal performances. In the early 1970s, he was in the vanguard of artists using film and video in relation to performance. He was included in both the Venice Biennale and the Johannesburg Biennale in 1997. He lived and worked in New York City. Oppenheim died of liver cancer on January 22, 2011.


  • Coppola, Regina, In vivo, works by Rebecca Horn, Jon Kessler, Dennis Oppenheim, Alan Rath, Amherst, MA, University Gallery, University of Massachusetts, 1996.
  • Fels, Mathias, Dennis Oppenheim, 1967-1971, Paris, 1972.
  • Fox, Howard N., Metaphor, new projects by contemporary sculptors, Vito Acconci, Siah Armajani, Alice Aycock, Lauren Ewing, Robert Morris, Dennis Oppenheim, Washington, D.C. : Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982.
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Machineworks, Vito Acconci, Alice Aycock, Dennis Oppenheim, Philadelphia, Institute of Contemporary Art, 1981.

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