Dan Graham

Urbana, Illinois USA 1942, lives and works in New York

Pavilion
2005
stainless steel frame, two-way mirror glass
300 x 300 x 230 cm
2006.DG.01

The American artist Dan Graham is particularly known for his Pavilions, the first of which were produced during the early 1980s. These are architectural constructions of glass and metal, a hybrid form of visual art and architecture. 

Graham has experimented with straight, triangular, circular and meandering shapes for his pavilions; and aside from using glass with varying degrees of transparency and reflection, he has also worked with materials such as perforated steel, wood and shrubs to devise pavilions that are sometimes literally illusory. At times they have a theme, as does the Children's Pavilion from 1989, which Graham designed in collaboration with Jeff Wall for the Rotterdam district Ommoord, though it was never carried out. They might also have a function, as a skateboard pavilion for instance, or they could be part of an existing building, as was the case with the Rooftop Urban Park project, installed on the roof of the DIA Art Foundation in New York. 

"My pavilions derive their meaning from the people who look at themselves and others, and who are being looked at themselves. Without people in them, they might look a bit like minimal-art sculptures, but that's not what they're meant to be," Graham emphasized.