By Lois Jones
AN exhibition at the “Sa Nostra” Cultural Centre in Palma running until 29th November, is featuring the work of ultra-modern North American artist, Dennis Oppenheim. The exhibition, entitled “From country to urban art” shows a selection of Oppenheim's creations, reflecting the most significant periods of his career.
This sculptor, internationally renowned for his works based on architectural construction, graduated from the California College of Arts and Crafts. Examples of his work are found in key museum and public art collections around the world.

In Majorca, he is known for his controversial sculpture that was commissioned from the artist by the University. The work, entitled “Device to root out evil”, represents an inverted church. The organiser of the exhibition, Maria Lluisa Borrás, explained that the works on show have been selected according to three key criteria: “firstly that the artefacts were representative of the various stages of the artist's professional development, that they were able to be appropriately displayed at the site of the exhibition and that they were currently located in Europe in order to avoid high transportation costs”. Borrás wished to thank the Georges Pompidou arts centre in Paris and the Queen Sofía museum in Madrid for lending some works to this itinerant exhibition. Oppenheim's works will later go on show in cities such as Valencia and Salamanca. Borrás emphasized the fact that Dennis Oppenheim is one of the most famous living sculptors and modern art protagonists who has never tried to mythologise the art of the 1960s. “He possesses a powerfully sophisticed sense of irony”, she commented. Although it is possible to find criticism of North American society in Oppenheim's work, he doesn't consider himself to be a politically motivated artist. In spite of the fact there are important, clearly defined critiques of his work, he believes in the ability of art to escape the ultimate control of its creator, and in its power to express themes that are outside the realms of language.


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