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Dennis Oppenheim, b.1938

Attempt to Raise Hell1974

Dennis Oppenheim, one of the leading figures in the development of Conceptualism in the United States, had a solo exhibition, ‘Land and Body’ at IMMA in 2001. Oppenheim’s work brings together an extraordinary amalgam of mechanical devices, familiar objects, photographs, maps and performance to draw attention to political and social issues, and to the means of representation itself. The title of his 1990 retrospective at PS1 in New York, ‘And The Mind Grew Fingers’, is highly descriptive of the kind of work with which he is associated.
‘Attempt to Raise Hell’ is one of a limited edition. In this edition the green jacket on the figure is a reference to stereotypical Irishness. The startling sound accompaniment to this piece draws attention to the endangerment of the body that was such a concern of Oppenheim and other performance artists. The use of a puppet in this piece is a development from the artist’s performance work. This work is one of two acquired by IMMA following the ‘Land and Body’ exhibition.

MediumCast iron bell suspended from the ceiling, seated figure with coloured cast aluminium head and hands, cloth and felt suit, wooden base with timing mechanism
Dimensions182.8 x 182.8 x 121.9 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 2001
Item NumberIMMA.1349
Not on view
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Image Caption
Dennis Oppenheim, Attempt to Raise Hell, 1974, Cast iron bell suspended from the ceiling, seated figure with coloured cast aluminium head and hands, cloth and felt suit, wooden base with timing mechanism, 182.8 x 182.8 x 121.9 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 2001

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: info@imma.ie.

About the Artist

Dennis Oppenheim 1938–2011

American artist, sculptor and photographer, Dennis Oppenheim was a leading figure in the development of conceptualism in the United States. From the 1970s, Oppenheim created ephemeral earth works and was in the vanguard of artists using film and video in relation to performance. His work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum, New York, the Pompidou Centre, Paris, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1997 and was the subject of a major solo exhibition at IMMA in 2001. In 2007, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Vancouver Sculpture Biennale. — View Artist »