Oral history interview with Dennis Oppenheim

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.oppenh09
Creators:
Oppenheim, Dennis, 1938-2011
Richards, Judith Olch
Dates:
2009 June 23-24
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
49 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Dennis Oppenheim conducted 2009 June 23-24, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art, at Oppenheim's studio, in New York, N.Y. Oppenheim speaks of his work in the past 15 years; the evolution of his work and its lack of continuity; his use of writing as a catalyst for constructing works and the importance of language in conceptual art; the role of the audience and the effects of positive reaction to one's work; the risks involved in moving away from successful work to find another avenue; experimentation and the ability to exhibit failures; the emotionality and detached qualities of Abstract Expressionism during the 1950s; the experimental side of studio art in comparison to public art; the seniority felt by fine artists over the applied arts, such as architecture, during the 1950s and 1960s; listening to the public opinion, including those that do not come from the art world; the theoretical progression of works such as, "Jump and Twist," [1999], and "Device to Root Out Evil," [1997]; how to react to controversial work; his lack of representation by galleries and dealers; his staff of assistants and his more theoretical role in the operation; his lack of fellowship with other artists and his dislike of collaboration; the Venice Biennale in 1997; the Olymics in Beijing in 2008; his current work and on-going commissions. Oppenheim also recalls Andy Warhol, Pierre Levai, Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, Robert Irwin, Richard Serra, Alice Aycock, Keith Sonnier, and Donald Lipski.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Dennis Oppenheim (1938- ) is a conceptual artist and sculptor in New York, N.Y. Judith Olch Richards (1947- ) is former executive director of iCI in New York, N.Y. Oppenheim was educated at California College of Arts and Crafts and Stanford University.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 31 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Conceptual artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Abstract expressionism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Serra, Richard, 1939- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levai, Pierre Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aycock, Alice Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Acconci, Vito, 1940- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lipski, Donald, 1947- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Warhol, Andy, 1928-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sonnier, Keith, 1941-2020 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nauman, Bruce, 1941- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Irwin, Robert, 1928- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Biennale di Venezia Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Olympic Games (29th : 2008 : Beijing, China) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/