Alumnus Dennis Oppenheim (BFA 1965) is one of 19 international artists selected to create monumental sculpture for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which begin today in Beijing, China.
The sculptures are on public display during the games and will remain as part of an outdoor permanent collection in Beijing Sculpture Park.
Of the 19 artists, only Oppenheim was awarded two commissions: Raining Halos will be installed in Beijing; Engagement in Hong Kong.
Raining Halos, composed of 60 stainless steel rings, stands 35 feet high and pays homage to the Olympic emblem of interlocking rings, as well as the natural phenomenon of the aurora borealis. As the rings spin, a fine water mist cools spectators under the pavilion.
Engagement, first created in 1998, is a 30-foot-tall sculpture of conjoined rings with pitched-roof houses perched on top of each band. The sculpture is installed in Hong Kong's Olympic Equestrian Park.
Oppenheim, who was born in 1938, is regarded as a pioneer of the 60s and 70s for his land art, performance art, and video. In addition to his BFA from CCA, he received an MFA from Stanford University.
His numerous solo-exhibition venues include the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Kunsthalle Basel; the Musée d'art contemporain, Montreal; and the Museo de Arte Alvar, Mexico City.
Oppenheim's many commissions from institutions worldwide include Ballerup Kommune, Copenhagen; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Olympic Park, South Korea.
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