Friday, February 1, 2008

About Art - Device For Rooting Out Evil

Device For Rooting Out Evil (1980) is a sculpture by Dennis Oppenhiem. The sculpture depicts a topsy-Derby white wooden- framed church sitting on its steeple and can be found in Harbour Green Park on Coal Harbour in Vancouver, B.C. The 22' tall piece was created from anodized steel, aluminum and Venetian glass. The twenty-five foot aluminum structure shimmers against a waterfront background. Hand-blown deep red glass shingles and blue-glass windows reflect sunlight during the day and are illuminated from within at night.

The artist maintains that his interest is in exploring the dialogue between architecture and sculpture. Device to Root Out Evil "withdraws functionality from architecture." To those reading religion into the work, he answers that "Turning the church upside down makes it more aggressive, but not blasphemous." The structure first gained critical acclaim at the 1997 Venice Biennale.

Born on September 6, 1938 in Electric City, Washington, Oppenheim earned his BFA in 1965 from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. He moved to New York in 1966 where he first taught nursery school and then high school art while working toward his first one-person exhibition in New York, held in 1968 when he was 30 years old. Oppenheim has made conceptual art, performance art, earth works, and quirky mechanical pieces, over a thirty-year period, producing a wide range of sculpture such as Searchburst.

His art has always been zany and eclectic, defying categorization and easy explanation. He still lives and works in New York City. Find out more about his unusual work at his website:

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