Sam Durant is an interdisciplinary artist whose works engage a variety of social, political, and cultural issues. His methodology is research based but with an emphasis on social engagement, often working with communities and groups in collaborative and performative formations. Growing up near Boston, MA in the 1970s he experienced the radical pedagogy of A.S. Neill, Maria Montessori, John Holt, anti-war demonstrations and the desegregation of the public school system. Exposure to an educational culture emphasizing democratic ideals, racial equality and social justice created the foundation for Durant’s artistic perspective.
Often taking up forgotten events from the past, his works make connections with present and ongoing social and cultural issues. Durant’s interest in monuments and memorials began with Proposal for Monument at Altamont Raceway (1999), continued notably with Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions (2005) that recontextualizes memorials to victims of the conquest of North America, and more recently with Proposal for Public Fountain (2015), a marble work depicting an anarchist statue being blasted by a police water cannon.
Solo exhibitions include: Untitled (Drone), The High Line Plinth Commission, curated by Cecilia Alemani, New York (2021); Proposal for Nonaligned Monuments, Free Movement, CC Strombeek, Grimbergen (2021); Iconoclasm, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2020); End White Supremacy, online exhibition at Blum & Poe on www.galleryplatform.la (2020); Sam Durant, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2020).
Group exhibitions include: Lost in America, curated by John Miller, Museum im Bellpark, Kriens (2021) and NBK, Berlin, Germany (2020); Ideas para Monumentos en homenaje a las heroínas y los héroes desconocidos, curated by Luis Camnitzer, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires (online) (2021); Like, man, I’m tired (of waiting), artlead, Ghent (2020); Mythologies - The Beginning and End of Civilizations, ARoS, Aarhus (2020); ENCORES (part 2), Music on recurrence, redundancy and surplus, artgenève & Mamco, Geneva (2020).