Modern and Contemporary Art

Star of David Pavilion

Star of David Pavilion
  • Dan Graham Born 1942, Urbana, Illinois
  • Star of David Pavilion
  • 1999
  • Aluminum, two-directional glass, and concrete
  • 268x397x522cm
  • Acquisition through the Lola Beer-Ebner Fund, 2000

Dan Graham – photographer, performance and video artist, and art critic – is one of the more prominent Conceptual artists. In his works he explores processes of psychological and kinesthetic perception, and touches on the interfaces between art, architecture, and society.

Since the late 1970s Graham has created “pavilions” that are, in a sense, proposals for a habitat. These pavilions are quasi-sculptural objects, a direction the artist had avoided in his early Conceptual work.

Star of David Pavilion, Tel Aviv, which is situated in the Museum’s sculpture garden, was preceded by two pavilions with the same name. One of these, from 1989, is in Hamburg; the other, from 1991–96, is in Vienna. All three pavilions are based on two triangles

– one superimposed over the other – that create a Star of David when viewed from above. The use of the Star of David as a Jewish symbol is intentionally overt.

In this work, the upper triangle, which serves as the roof of the structure, is painted an opaque blue. The lower triangle is made of concrete, and has six aluminum columns and three glass walls – parts of which function as mirrors – rising from it. The columns and walls unite with the upper triangle to create the Star of David, so that open spaces are formed in the parts that do not overlap. The pavilion is entered through a sliding glass door located on one side of the triangle. The door becomes a mirror when it slides back into position.


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