Sam Durant, Installation view at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, 2011

Sam Durant

Sam Durant

Build Therefore Your Own World

January 7 – February 18, 2017
Los Angeles

Sam Durant

Borrowed Scenery

November 28, 2015 – January 16, 2016
Tokyo

Sam Durant

"Laissez faire et laissez passer, le monde va de lui meme."

February 19 – April 2, 2011
Los Angeles

Endless Bummer / Surf Elsewhere

Organized by Drew Heitzler
July 3 – August 28, 2010
Los Angeles

Sam Durant

This Is Freedom?

April 11 – May 16, 2009
Los Angeles

15th Anniversary Inaugural Exhibition

October 3 – November 14, 2009
Los Angeles

Sam Durant

Scenes from the Pilgrim Story: Myths, Massacres and Monuments

March 3 – April 14, 2007
Los Angeles

Think Blue

July 16 – August 20, 2005
Los Angeles

Sam Durant

Involved

September 11 – October 16, 2004
Los Angeles

Inaugural Group Show

September 4 – October 4, 2003
Los Angeles

Sam Durant

Color Pictures

October 10 – November 9, 2002
Santa Monica

Sam Durant

Proposal for Monument in Friendship Park, Jacksonville, Florida

October 28 – December 2, 2000
Santa Monica

Sam Durant

Altamont

September 9 – October 16, 1999
Santa Monica

Matthew Antezzo, Sam Durant, Dave Muller

June 5 – July 3, 1999
Santa Monica

Next

December 4, 1997 – January 10, 1998
Santa Monica

Sam Durant

MDF, particle board, projection, confusion, grid-like structuring

February 13 – March 22, 1997
Santa Monica

Sam Durant

October 14 – November 22, 1995
Santa Monica

Gone

December 3, 1994 – January 14, 1995
Santa Monica

Biography

Sam Durant (b. 1961, Seattle, WA) is an interdisciplinary artist whose works engage a variety of social, political, and cultural issues. Growing up near Boston in the 1970s he experienced the radical pedagogy of A.S. Neill, Maria Montessori, and John Holt, along with anti-war demonstrations and the desegregation of the public-school system. Exposure to an educational culture emphasizing democratic ideals, racial equality, and social justice created the framework for Durant’s artistic perspective. Often taking up forgotten events from the past, his work makes connections with ongoing social and cultural issues. 

Durant’s interest in monuments and memorials began with Proposal for Monument at Altamont Raceway, Tracy, CA (1999), referencing the violent end to the infamous free concert and arguably to an era; and continued notably with Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions (2005), re-contextualizing memorials to victims of the conquest of North America; and more recently with Proposal for Public Fountain (2015), a marble work depicting an anarchist statue being blasted by a police water canon. Earlier works excavated subjects as diverse as the repressive practices of Modernism, the death drive of ’60s and ’70s pop music, and artist Robert Smithson’s theories of entropy. Contemporary examples of his oeuvre encompass subjects such as Italian anarchism, cartographic histories of capitalism, gestures of everyday refusal, and the meaning of museums for their visitors. Recent major public art projects include Labyrinth (2015) in Philadelphia, addressing mass incarceration; and The Meeting House (2016) in Concord, MA, focusing on the subject of race in colonial and contemporary New England.

In 2007 Durant compiled and edited the monograph Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas (Rizzoli Intl.), and curated the eponymous exhibition at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA and the New Museum, New York, NY  From 2005-10, he was a member of the collective Transforma Projects, a grassroots cultural rebuilding initiative in New Orleans. In 2012-13, Durant was an artist-in-residence at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles where he collaborated with the education department to produce a discursive social media project called What #isamuseum?  This became a solo exhibition in 2016 at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA.

Durant’s work has been included in numerous international exhibitions including the Busan, Liverpool, Panama, Sydney, Venice, and Whitney Biennials (2006, 2014, 2008, 2008, 2007, 2004, respectively); documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2012); Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama, Japan (2017); and Power to the People: Political Art Now, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany (2018). His work can be found in public collections worldwide including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA; Institut d’Art Contemporain de Villeurbanne, Villeurbanne, France; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, Canada; Project Row Houses, Houston, TX; Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium; Tate Modern, London, UK; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

Selected Works

News

The Art Newspaper: Sam Durant and Anne Ellegood

02/23/2018

Hyperallergic: Objects that Manifest the Contradictions of American History

02/11/2017

Artforum: Sam Durant at Blum & Poe Los Angeles

01/01/2017

Boston Globe: Concord's Old Manse Holds Community Discussions on African American Struggles

08/11/2016

Artnews: Sam Durant on ‘Labyrinth’

10/02/2015

Los Angeles Confidential: Sam Durant

05/18/2013

Related Publications

Sam Durant: The Meeting House / Build Therefore Your Own World

Sam Durant: Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions

Sam Durant

Sam Durant: Entropy in Reverse

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