Dennis OPPENHEIM, Safety Cones. Seattle (USA)

Dennis OPPENHEIM, Safety Cones. Seattle (USA)
Oppenheim's Olympic preparations began this May in Seattle, Washington with a site-visit and lecture at the Seattle Art Museum in anticipation of the installment of Safety Cones (2007), at the Olympic Sculpture Park. This is the first short term installation within the park's permanent collection. Five blaze-orange cones made of cast fiberglass stand eighteen feet high and are an expanded version of an installation which was first shown at the SCOPE Art Fair in Miami, last December. By increasing the dimensions of this simple and familiar geometric structure, Oppenheim presents a stimulating conversation between object, architecture and sculpture. The strategic placement of the cones provides a refreshing and thought provoking notion of scale within the park. Their considerable presence makes them contemporary totems, capable of evoking an array of responses, one of which could be " caution....... danger.......beware....."

SAM curator Michael Darling shared that "(Safety Cones) is one in a long line of public installations by this veteran artist that playfully manipulates scale and everyday objects. By hijacking a banal and ubiquitous street safety icon and amplifying it to heroic proportions, it claims the whole park as a site where heightened caution and care should be taken ? a sly pitch for a greater awareness of the space that surrounds us.?

Working with another universally recognized symbol, the Olympic rings, Dennis Oppenheim is one of nineteen international artist's selected to create monumental sculpture for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and he is the only artist awarded two commissions. Raining Halos (2008), is part of the Olympic Sculpture Project in Beijing and Engagement (1997), is part of the City Art Square public art program in a suburb of Hong Kong where the Equestrian Olympics took place. Both sculptures will remain as permanent outdoor works.

For the immediate future, Oppenheim will act as the consultant to the China Sculpture Institute which is considered the highest honor in the People?s Republic of China available to a foreign artist.

If public art were an Olympic sport, Dennis Oppenheim would be bringing home the gold.

The Seattle Olympic Sculpture Park

Dennis Oppenheim

Hackett, Regina: "Oppenheim's Big Cones Are A Caution: The Giants Perk Up Sculpture Park", Seattle Post Intelliger. May 29, 2008.

For further information or additional photography contact:
Amy Plumb

Dennis Oppenheim Studio
54 Franklin Street, New York, New York 10013
Tel 212 962 0178
Fax 212 587 3314

Safety Cones, 2007
Photos: Paul Macapia