With 2-Way Mirror and Punched Aluminium Solid Triangle Dan Graham has created a work of art in the field between sculpture, installation and architecture. Our encounter with the mirrors manifests that we are an inseparable part of the work.
2-Way Mirror and Punched Aluminium Solid Triangle, 1996
DescriptionA large triangular metal and glass construction reflects its surroundings. Two sides are mirrors, the third is punctured metal with a sliding door, inviting the onlooker inside. The two-way mirrors are both reserved and embracing: at first sight reflective and opaque but upon closer scrutiny they turn out to be transparent.
About the workWith its arresting appearance Graham's pavilion is highly conspicuous, whether placed in a museum or outside in a park. It seems to resist categorisation as sculpture, installation or architecture. And what is its function? The answer is: all three at once. Like Graham's other architectural works it exists in a grey area between the functional and the purely artistic and hence 'useless'. "I wanted an anonymous middle ground between art and architecture, between public and private," Graham has explained of the idea behind the pavilion.
Dan Graham's art in general
2-Way Mirror and Punched Aluminum Solid Triangle is typical of Graham's pavilions, a medium he has pursued for a number of years.
Graham revisits ideas launched by the American Minimalists and Post-minimalists in the 1960s and 70s. He is interested in the situation arising from the encounter between onlooker and work. Wishing to create a dialogue between the work, the locale and the onlooker he employs reflective materials that capture both the light, the surroundings and the onlookers, making them inseparable from the work.
Previously Graham worked in performance which included the onlooker in the work in different ways. Common to his art is the desire for the work of art to function as a framework for the encounter between us and others.
Dan Graham is not a trained artist but opened the John Daniels Gallery in New York in 1964 and worked there for a year. Here he mounted exhibitions with people who later became his artist colleagues.....