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jimmie durham

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la malinche, 1988-1991

wood, cotton, snakeskin, watercolor, polyester, metal

66.1 x 22 x 33.1 inches

a dead deer, 1986

skull, bone, wood, paint, plastic, string

47.2 x 28.3 x 5.5 inches

pallas athena, 2008

mixed media

96.46 x 57.09 x 35.43 inches

mulholland drive, 2007

horse skull, mixed media

88.6 x 70.9 x 43.3 inches

untitled, 1992

acrylic on canvas, plywood

30.7 x 32.6 inches

self-portrait pretending to be a stone statue of myself, 2006

photograph

dimensions variable

painted self-portrait, 2007

acrylic and marker on color photograph

30.71 x 22.83 inches

self-portrait pretending to be maria thereza alves as terminator 2, 1995-2006

color photograph

31.7x 23.9 inches

a staff to mark the center of the world at the gwangju biennale, 2004

multi-media

78.7 x 3.9 inches each

red granite and grey cristalina granite, 1971

red and gray granite

4.72 x 22.68 inches

production shot for the center of the world at chalma, 1997

solo exhibition at porin taidemuseo, porin, finland, 1997

i will try to explain, 1970-2012

wood, metal, cat fur, leather

dimensions variable

st. frigo, 1996

documentation of action

frac, champagne-ardenne, rheims, france, 1996

st. frigo, 1996

refrigerator

51.97 x 23.62 x 23.62 inches

 

this is a stone from the mountain, this is a stone from the red palace, 1992

sandstone

16.54 x 15.75 x 18.9 inches each

a stone from metternich's house in bohemia, 1996

production shots from action at der verführer und der steinerne gast

solo exhibition at wittgenstein house, vienna, 1996

a stone from metternich's house in bohemia, 1996

production shots from action at der verführer und der steinerne gast

solo exhibition at wittgenstein house, vienna, 1996

encore tranquilité, 2008

airplane, stone, chains

59.06 x 338.58 x 338.58 inches

upon reflection, i was no longer sure of my position, 2009

obsidian, german silver (copper, zinc, and nickel), steel table and obsidian mirror with colored tin frame

dimensions variable

xitle and spirit, 2007

car, volcanic stone, acrylic paint

dimensions variable

untitled (the penis mightier), 2007

graphite pencil on acid free cotton paper

triptych, 30.31 x 22.83 inches each

untitled (the penis might), 2007

graphite on cotton paper

30.31 x 22.83 inches, ea.

azurite, calcite, quartz, 1998

oil, stones, and marker on painted wood

51.18 x 35.43 inches each

brazilian bloodstone, 1997

stone, orange, graphite on wood

32.68 x 47.24 x 3.15 inches

in a cabin in the woods, 2010

deer skin, wood, felt

59.06 x 27.56 x 12.99 inches

drawing performance in la leçon d'anatomie (a progress report), 1996

documentation of action

solo exhibition at frac, champagne-ardenne, rheims, france, 1996

le lesson d'anatomie no. 40, 1996

cotton shirt, artist's hair, mud, dirt and white glue

29.53 x 26.38 x 1.18 inches

smashing, 2004

digital video transferred to DVD

1 hr, 31 min, 52 sec.

a project for the tree at potolice, 2000

installation view of construction in process, potolice, poland, 2000

garcon, garou, gargouille, 1994

papier maché, PVC pipe, leather

59 x 39 inches

sweet light crude, 2008

twenty five oil barrels

dimensions variable

elsa, 2003

installation view of arte all’arte, puente de san marziale, colle di val d’elsa, italy

elsa, 2003

installation view of arte all’arte, puente de san marziale, colle di val d’elsa, italy

the names of the team of scientists who submitted an article on the human chromosome 14 in nature magazine, february, 2003, 2003

mixed media

51.2 x 39.4 inches

hommage à filiou, 2003

purpurin and oil on pine wood

39.37 x 29.53 x 12.99 inches

hommage à filiou, 2003

purpurin and oil on pine wood

39.37 x 29.53 x 12.99 inches

homage to luis buñuel, 2012

mixed-media installation

dimensions variable

various elements from the actual world, 2009

mixed media

98.43 x 118.11 inches

ok! look, 2009

graphite on cotton paper

31.89 x 24.02 inches

from serie of drawings, 1998

graphite

dimensions variable

a line of graphite beginning on the left side, 2009

graphite on cotton paper

31.89 x 24.02 inches

installation view of traces and shiny evidence, 2014

parasol unit, london, united kingdom

image

la malinche, 1988-1991

wood, cotton, snakeskin, watercolor, polyester, metal

66.1 x 22 x 33.1 inches

image

a dead deer, 1986

skull, bone, wood, paint, plastic, string

47.2 x 28.3 x 5.5 inches

image

pallas athena, 2008

mixed media

96.46 x 57.09 x 35.43 inches

image

mulholland drive, 2007

horse skull, mixed media

88.6 x 70.9 x 43.3 inches

image

untitled, 1992

acrylic on canvas, plywood

30.7 x 32.6 inches

image

self-portrait pretending to be a stone statue of myself, 2006

photograph

dimensions variable

image

painted self-portrait, 2007

acrylic and marker on color photograph

30.71 x 22.83 inches

image

self-portrait pretending to be maria thereza alves as terminator 2, 1995-2006

color photograph

31.7x 23.9 inches

image

a staff to mark the center of the world at the gwangju biennale, 2004

multi-media

78.7 x 3.9 inches each

image

red granite and grey cristalina granite, 1971

red and gray granite

4.72 x 22.68 inches

image

production shot for the center of the world at chalma, 1997

solo exhibition at porin taidemuseo, porin, finland, 1997

image

i will try to explain, 1970-2012

wood, metal, cat fur, leather

dimensions variable

image

st. frigo, 1996

documentation of action

frac, champagne-ardenne, rheims, france, 1996

image

st. frigo, 1996

refrigerator

51.97 x 23.62 x 23.62 inches

 

image

this is a stone from the mountain, this is a stone from the red palace, 1992

sandstone

16.54 x 15.75 x 18.9 inches each

image

a stone from metternich's house in bohemia, 1996

production shots from action at der verführer und der steinerne gast

solo exhibition at wittgenstein house, vienna, 1996

image

a stone from metternich's house in bohemia, 1996

production shots from action at der verführer und der steinerne gast

solo exhibition at wittgenstein house, vienna, 1996

image

encore tranquilité, 2008

airplane, stone, chains

59.06 x 338.58 x 338.58 inches

image

upon reflection, i was no longer sure of my position, 2009

obsidian, german silver (copper, zinc, and nickel), steel table and obsidian mirror with colored tin frame

dimensions variable

image

xitle and spirit, 2007

car, volcanic stone, acrylic paint

dimensions variable

image

untitled (the penis mightier), 2007

graphite pencil on acid free cotton paper

triptych, 30.31 x 22.83 inches each

image

untitled (the penis might), 2007

graphite on cotton paper

30.31 x 22.83 inches, ea.

image

azurite, calcite, quartz, 1998

oil, stones, and marker on painted wood

51.18 x 35.43 inches each

image

brazilian bloodstone, 1997

stone, orange, graphite on wood

32.68 x 47.24 x 3.15 inches

image

in a cabin in the woods, 2010

deer skin, wood, felt

59.06 x 27.56 x 12.99 inches

image

drawing performance in la leçon d'anatomie (a progress report), 1996

documentation of action

solo exhibition at frac, champagne-ardenne, rheims, france, 1996

image

le lesson d'anatomie no. 40, 1996

cotton shirt, artist's hair, mud, dirt and white glue

29.53 x 26.38 x 1.18 inches

image

smashing, 2004

digital video transferred to DVD

1 hr, 31 min, 52 sec.

image

a project for the tree at potolice, 2000

installation view of construction in process, potolice, poland, 2000

image

garcon, garou, gargouille, 1994

papier maché, PVC pipe, leather

59 x 39 inches

image

sweet light crude, 2008

twenty five oil barrels

dimensions variable

image

elsa, 2003

installation view of arte all’arte, puente de san marziale, colle di val d’elsa, italy

image

elsa, 2003

installation view of arte all’arte, puente de san marziale, colle di val d’elsa, italy

image

the names of the team of scientists who submitted an article on the human chromosome 14 in nature magazine, february, 2003, 2003

mixed media

51.2 x 39.4 inches

image

hommage à filiou, 2003

purpurin and oil on pine wood

39.37 x 29.53 x 12.99 inches

image

hommage à filiou, 2003

purpurin and oil on pine wood

39.37 x 29.53 x 12.99 inches

image

homage to luis buñuel, 2012

mixed-media installation

dimensions variable

image

various elements from the actual world, 2009

mixed media

98.43 x 118.11 inches

image

ok! look, 2009

graphite on cotton paper

31.89 x 24.02 inches

image

from serie of drawings, 1998

graphite

dimensions variable

image

a line of graphite beginning on the left side, 2009

graphite on cotton paper

31.89 x 24.02 inches

image

installation view of traces and shiny evidence, 2014

parasol unit, london, united kingdom

jimmie durham


* 1940, United States.


In his artistic research, Jimmie Durham is interested in what happens “away from language”, in the relationship between forms and concepts. Working against Western rationalism, his practice is rooted in uncertainty and paradox. Durham creates in an array of mediums: drawings, installations, video —which he uses to document his performances—,  and sculptural constructions often combined with written messages, photographs, and objects. Covering a broad range of topics in artworks as well as in essays and poetry, his production is often laced with the agility of wordplay, a dry, highly critical humor and, above all, insight. He consistently addresses the political and cultural forces that construct our contemporary discourses, the history of oppression, the futility of violence, and the powerlessness of the minorities in the world.  Jimmie Durham works with both natural and artificial materials, but he is particularly drawn to the intrinsic qualities of those that have been used throughout history as tools: stone, wood, bone, iron and glass. Stone is a primary material for Durham due to its role in defining power dynamics of culture and society through architecture and ideas of monumentality; He uses it to underscore the polemics of nature vs. culture, religion, architecture, and Eurocentric ideas of history.


Jimmie Durham moved to Geneva in 1969 and enrolled in the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts where he worked on sculpture and performance. In 1973 he moved back to the U.S. and became involved in the American Indian Movement as director of the International Indian Treaty Council and its representative before the United Nations, thus becoming the first official representative of a minority within this organization. In 1980, he focused his attention back to art, but remained concerned with dismantling stereotypes of American Indians that had been widely accepted and disseminated in American culture: a theme he returns to in many of his essays. Durham gained notoriety within the New York art scene, but found his work was seen as “Indian art” and failed to encourage fundamental —political or artistic—discussions about how American Indian history and culture have been misrepresented by others. Disappointed by this misunderstanding and by the American government’s intractable policies regarding the Indian movement, he left the U.S. in 1987 and moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico where he remained until his return to Europe in 1994.


Jimmie Durham had his first solo show in 1965; ever since he has had many important solo exhibitions: Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada (2018), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2017-2018), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017), The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, United States (2017); Evidence, Mönchehaus Museum Goslar, Germany (2017); Jimmie Durham: God’s Children, God’s Poem, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland (2017); Jimmie Durham. Sound and Silliness, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2016); Jimmie Durham: Various Items and Complaints, Serpentine Gallery, London (2015); Venice: Objects, Work and Tourism, Museo della Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2015); Jimmie Durham, Here at the Center, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin (2015); Traces and Shiny Evidence, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London (2014); A Machine Needs Instructions As a Garden Needs Discipline, MARCO Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain (2013); A Matter of Life and Death and Singing, M HKA- Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, Belgium (2012); Jimmie Durham, Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, Italy (2012); Rocks Encouraged, Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (2010); Pierres rejetées..., Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2009); Jimmie Durham, Madre · museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, Italy (2008); Jimmie Durham: Essence, de Pury & Luxembourg (Phillips), Zurich, Switzerland (2007); The Imaginary Number, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2006); From the West Pacific to the East Atlantic, Musée d'Art Contemporain [mac], Marseille, France (2003); Between the Furniture and the Building (Between a Rock and a Hard Place), Kunstverein München, Munich, Germany (1998); The Center of the World, Vleeshal Center for Contemporary Art, Middelburg, The Netherlands (1995); Original Re-Runs, BOZAR - Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium (1993), among many others.


His work has also been included in group exhibitions such as: Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs, Para Site, Hong Kong (2017), Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok, Thailand (2017), Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila, Philippines (2016); The Absent Museum, WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2017); Whither the Winds, Lund Konsthall, Sweden (2017); A Sense of History, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin (2016); Surrealism: The Conjured Life, MCA- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, United States (2015); Rights of Nature, Nottingham Contemporary, United Kingdom (2015); America is Hard to See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015); Existential Visual Worlds: Reinking Collection, Weserburg, Bremen, Germany (2014); Advance through Retreat, Rockbund Art Museum (RAM), Shanghai (2014); What Models Can Do, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Germany (2014); Yes, Naturally, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands (2013); Project XXII, Madre · museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, Italy (2013); In the Holocene, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, United States (2012); Nouvelle présentation des collections contemporaines des années 1960 à nos jours, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2011); On Rage, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin (2010); Faux Jumeaux 15, S.M.A.K.- Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst Gent, Belgium (2009); Transmission Interrupted, Modern Art Oxford, United Kingdom (2009); Experiment Marathon Reykjavik, Reykjavík Art Museum – Kjarvalsstaðir, Iceland (2008), and Tiempo al tiempo/Taking Time, MARCO Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain (2007), among others.


Durham has also participated in the following biennials: La triennale des 50JPG, Geneva, Switzerland (2016); Sharjah Biennial 12, United Arab Emirates (2015); 7th Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art (2015); Whitney Biennial, New York (2014, 2006, and 1993, respectively); 55th, 51st, 50th, 49th, and 48th Venice Biennial, Italy (2012, 2005, 2003, 2001 and 1999, respectively); 5. and 13. İstanbul Bienali, Turkey (1998 and 2013); dOCUMENTA (13) and XI, Kassel, Germany (2012 and 1992, respectively); 2010 SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul, South Korea; 29a Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2010); 1st Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg, Russia (2010); Manifesta 7, Trento, Italy (2008); Taipei Biennial 2012, Taiwan; 14th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2004); 5th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2004); and Yokohama Triennale 2001, Japan.


Jimmie Durham lives and works in Berlin.