Tuesday 2 August 2011

Dan Christensen

Dan Christensen (1942 – 2007) was born in Cozad, Nebraska. Christensen chose to become an artist when, as a teenager, he saw the work of Jackson Pollock on a trip to Denver. After receiving his B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri, in 1964, he moved to New York. His “spray loop” paintings, produced by using a spray paint gun, were an embodiment of the reductive abstract tendencies in 1960s American art, and of the interest of the time in innovative applications of new techniques. With their powerful ribbon-like configurations, and shimmering all-over surface effects, these works won the attention of art critic Clement Greenberg who became an enthusiastic supporter of Christensen’s art.

Christensen had his first solo exhibition in New York in 1967. Two years later he was given a show at the Andre Emmerich Gallery, joining this important showcase for colour-field painting, where works by artists such as Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, and Helen Frankenthaler were also shown. Christensen soon started to be invited to participate in major museum shows, including the Whitney Annuals in New York and the Corcoran Gallery’s Biennials in Washington, D.C.

In 2001 Dan Christensen’s unique approach to line and shape was highlighted in the survey of his art held at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio. He received several awards, including a National Endowment Grant, 1968, a Guggenheim Fellowship Theodoran Award, 1969, a Gottlieb Foundation Grant, 1986, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, 1992. His art is included in many important public collections

Dan Christensen, who began visiting eastern Long Island in the 1960s, lived in East Hampton until his death in 2007. My thanks to LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe, NM, for permission to use some of the images below.

1967 Untitled 
© LewAllen Galleries

1968 Chevade

1968 Pavo

1968 Untitled

1970 Hornet 
© LewAllen Galleries

1970 Yellow Bumper

1979 Atlantic Champagne

1982 Crayola

1986 Dromos

1988 Swing Low 
© LewAllen Galleries

1988 Troubador

1989 Tour de France 
© LewAllen Galleries

1996 New Morning 
© LewAllen Galleries

1996 Nexx Central Revisited 
© LewAllen Galleries

1998 TBD

2000 Ray

2000 Shoxa

2001 Swing Street

2004 Torodoro 
© LewAllen Galleries

2006 Amino Royale

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