Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris

7 November 2019 – 11 January 2020

Interested in the socio-political function of art, Dan Graham has been creating a series of works, architectural models and sculptures for public use since the late ‘70s. The physical and visual experience of the audience is an inherent part of the works. “Neo-Baroque Walkway,” Dan Graham’s latest pavilion, will be on view on the Marian Goodman gallery groundfloor.

Dan Graham, Glass Office Building/Window Highway Restaurant, 1978/1969

“Experiencing “Neo-Baroque Walkway, ” the spectators walk through a narrow passage between two convoluted sine wave-like opposing two-way mirror coated glass walls. The two sides of convoluted forms slightly vary. The experience for the viewer involves a somewhat psychedelic, optical distortion of the spectator’s body which might be superimposed on images of other spectators’ bodies.”

Dan Graham, 2019

Dan Graham, Neo-Baroque Walkway, 2019

Whereas Dan Graham, in the same Marian Goodman Gallery space, presented four years ago, “Passage Intime,” which may have suggested the perils of romantic love, “Neo-Baroque Walkway” is more of a “fun-house” for children. Every pavilion designed by Graham, although consisting invariably of two-way mirror glass and stainless steel, owns his unique structure and his unique concept deriving from multiple, yet precise references. For the “Neo- Baroque Walkway,” the artist refers to the baroque movement as the main source of inspiration, as well as John Chamberlain, an artist whose work has largely influenced him (in particular for his earlier pieces, “Design for Showing Videos” and “Homes for America”). Surprisingly, the connection between Chamberlain’s art and baroque sculpture dates back from 1964, when Donald Judd wrote in a review: “Chamberlain’s sculpture is simultaneously turbulent, passionate, cool and hard. The structure is the passionate part. The obvious comparison is to the structure of Baroque art (….)” 1 A few decades later, in a 2011 article about John Chamberlain, Graham continued further somehow Judd’s comparison, this time associating Chamberlain’s work to Larry Bell’s: “Chamberlain began using Larry Bell’s coating machine to realize a series of convoluted near-transparent and semi-reflective forms, which resembled topologically distorted Klein bottles.”