Another show with Dan Graham, and in his case as well, forty years have gone by since our first, in 1976. Well, fine, it won’t be exactly forty until next year, but I couldn’t wait to celebrate this milestone anniversary with him, just as we already have with Paolini and Buren.
There will be a new pavilion, old and new photographs, models of pavilions, and a major new development: Mieko Meguro. Who is Mieko? A Japanese artist who lives in New York, and who recently became Dan’s wife. That would be entirely their business, except that for a while now, Mieko has been taking photos of Dan in the most ordinary domestic moments. A legend of contemporary art as he brushes his teeth, grooms his beard, drinks his coffee, reads a book stretched out on the bed, wearing colorful striped socks... In short, the Legend is cut down to human scale.
When Rachele Mussolini heard someone talking about her husband Benito with excessive veneration, she replied in dialect: «Mò chi? C'la màcia?» (Who, him? That joker?) In a similar way, Mieko dismantles Dan’s mythos, brings him down from Olympus and shows him in private poses that she has surreptitiously captured (and here we have Dan sleeping on the plane, with a panda-shaped neck cushion...). In short, even for someone like me who’s known him well for forty years, this is a very human Dan, stepping off a pedestal that he never put himself on to begin with. - Massimo Minini
Dan Graham was born in Urbana, Illinois in 1942 and lives and works in New York. He has had retrospective exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009), Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin (2006), Museu Serralves, Porto, (2001), Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1997), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, (1993), Kunsthalle Berne (1983) and the Renaissance Society, University of Chicago (1981). He has participated in documenta 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 (1972, 1977, 1982, 1992, 1997). Among numerous awards he received the Coutts Contemporary Art Foundation Award, Zurich (1992), the French Vermeil Medal, Paris (2001) and was honoured by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York in 2010.