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Biography

Using media ranging from electric signs to found objects to graphite, Sam Durant (b. 1961, Seattle, Washington) creates work that engages historical and cultural events of the past and present. His projects have touched upon such subjects as the contemporary U.S. prison system, the Civil Rights Movement, the 1968 student riots, and last century’s struggle between Native Americans and European settlers. Durant has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at the Museo d’arte contemporanea, Rome; the Getty Center, Los Angeles; the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Kunstverein Düsseldorf; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston. He has participated in the 2004 Whitney Museum Biennial, NY, and the 2002 Venice Biennale. His work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Tate Modern, London.  

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Sam Durant Sam Durant: Proposal for Non-Aligned Monuments, Free Movement, Installation view, Cultuurcentrum Strombeek, Grimbergen, BE, March 19 - May 19, 2021. Photo: Sophie Nuytten. Courtesy CC Strombeek, Belgium.

Sam Durant
Sam Durant: Proposal for Non-Aligned Monuments, Free Movement, Installation view, Cultuurcentrum Strombeek, Grimbergen, BE, March 19 - May 19, 2021. Photo: Sophie Nuytten. Courtesy CC Strombeek, Belgium.

Sam Durant Am I Not Equal?, 2018 Electric sign with vinyl text 52 x 60 x 10 in. (132.1 x 152.4 x 25.4 cm) Edition 1 of 3, + 2 APs

Sam Durant
Am I Not Equal?, 2018
Electric sign with vinyl text
52 x 60 x 10 in. (132.1 x 152.4 x 25.4 cm)
Edition 1 of 3, + 2 APs

Justin Matherly Non-Vicious Circle, 2014 powder coated steel, wood, artillery shell casings, stainless steel cable (fabrication Sebastian Clough, Justin Scoltock) ​55 x 49 5/8 x 41 1/4 in. (139.7 x 126 x 104.8 cm)

Sam Durant
Non-Vicious Circle, 2014
powder coated steel, wood, artillery shell casings, stainless steel cable (fabrication Sebastian Clough, Justin Scoltock)
55 x 49 5/8 x 41 1/4 in. (139.7 x 126 x 104.8 cm)

Sam Durant Palindrome, 2019 pencil and spray paint on paper, 51 1/2 x 70 in. (130.8 x 177.8 cm)

Sam Durant
Palindrome, 2019
pencil and spray paint on paper, 51 1/2 x 70 in. (130.8 x 177.8 cm)

Sam Durant, Labyrinth, 2015, created by Sam Durant for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program's Open Source project, steel, 96 x 480 x 480 in. (243.8 x 1219.2 x 1219.2 cm), located at 1401 JFK Boulevard on Thomas Paine Plaza across the street from City Hall, Philadelphia, PA., Photo by Steve Weinik for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

Sam Durant, Labyrinth, 2015, created by Sam Durant for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program's Open Source project, steel, 96 x 480 x 480 in. (243.8 x 1219.2 x 1219.2 cm), located at 1401 JFK Boulevard on Thomas Paine Plaza across the street from City Hall, Philadelphia, PA., Photo by Steve Weinik for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

Sam Durant
The Acton Monument, 2005
MDF, fiberglass, polyurethane foam, enamel & acrylic paint
62 x 27 x 27 in (157.5 x 68.6 x 68.6 cm)

Sam Durant Fort King Stone Marker, Florida, 2005 graphite on paper 30 x 22 in. (76.2 x 55.9 cm) frame: 33 x 25 in. (83.8 x 63.5 cm)

Sam Durant
Fort King Stone Marker, Florida, 2005
graphite on paper
30 x 22 in. (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
frame: 33 x 25 in. (83.8 x 63.5 cm)

Sam Durant Do Good Things!, 2018 electric sign with vinyl text 45 x 75 x 10 in. (114.3 x 190.5 x 25.4 cm), Edition of 3, 2 APs

Sam Durant
Do Good Things!, 2018
electric sign with vinyl text
45 x 75 x 10 in. (114.3 x 190.5 x 25.4 cm), Edition of 3, 2 APs

Sam Durant Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C., 2005, 30 monuments and one architectural model: MDF, fiberglass, foam, enamel, acrylic, basswood, balsa wood, birch veneer, copper  Dimensions variable

Sam Durant
Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C., 2005,
30 monuments and one architectural model: MDF, fiberglass, foam, enamel, acrylic, basswood, balsa wood, birch veneer, copper 
Dimensions variable

Sam Durant
Architectural model from Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C., 2005
MDF, fiberglass, foam, enamel, acrylic, basswood, balsa wood, birch veneer, copper
48 x 150 x 16 inches (121.9 x 381 x 40.6 cm.)

Sam Durant Les Armes Miraculeuses, 2014 marble, wood, eggs, shells (fabrication, Dan Axe, Telara Studio d’Arte, Carrara, Italy) ​overall: 34 x 18 1/2 x 24 in. (86.4 x 47 x 61 cm)

Sam Durant
Les Armes Miraculeuses, 2014
marble, wood, eggs, shells (fabrication, Dan Axe, Telara Studio d’Arte, Carrara, Italy)
overall: 34 x 18 1/2 x 24 in. (86.4 x 47 x 61 cm)

Sam Durant Scramble for Africa, 2020 colored pencil on paper 46 5/8 x 59 1/4 in. (118.4 x 150.5 cm)

Sam Durant
Scramble for Africa, 2020
colored pencil on paper
46 5/8 x 59 1/4 in. (118.4 x 150.5 cm)

Sam Durant Another World Is Possible, 2019 electric sign with vinyl text ​44 x 60 in. (111.8 x 152.4 cm), Edition of 3, 2 APs

Sam Durant
Another World Is Possible, 2019
electric sign with vinyl text
44 x 60 in. (111.8 x 152.4 cm), Edition of 3, 2 APs

Sam Durant Dead Labor Day, 2010 wood, metal, water dispenser 192 x 299 1/2 x 170 in. (487.7 x 760.7 x 431.8 cm)

Sam Durant
Dead Labor Day, 2010
wood, metal, water dispenser
192 x 299 1/2 x 170 in. (487.7 x 760.7 x 431.8 cm)

Sam Durant Men's Vices Are My Domain (Joyce Mansour), 2014 graphite and enamel on paper (drafting assistance by Dina Sherman) frame: 23 1/4 x 23 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (.6 x 59.1 x 3.8 cm)

Sam Durant
Men's Vices Are My Domain (Joyce Mansour), 2014
graphite and enamel on paper (drafting assistance by Dina Sherman)
frame: 23 1/4 x 23 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (.6 x 59.1 x 3.8 cm)

Sam Durant "...the great game of hide and seek has succeeded, it is them because, on that day, the weather is most certainly too blindingly bright and beautiful to see clearly therein", 2014 globe, acrylic (painting Steve Nunez) 32 in. diameter (81.3 cm diameter)

Sam Durant
"...the great game of hide and seek has succeeded, it is them because, on that day, the weather is most certainly too blindingly bright and beautiful to see clearly therein", 2014
globe, acrylic (painting Steve Nunez)
32 in. diameter (81.3 cm diameter)

Sam Durant Sam Durant: Proposal for Non-Aligned Monuments, Free Movement, Installation view, Cultuurcentrum Strombeek, Grimbergen, BE, March 19 - May 19, 2021. Photo: Sophie Nuytten. Courtesy CC Strombeek, Belgium.

Sam Durant
Sam Durant: Proposal for Non-Aligned Monuments, Free Movement, Installation view, Cultuurcentrum Strombeek, Grimbergen, BE, March 19 - May 19, 2021. Photo: Sophie Nuytten. Courtesy CC Strombeek, Belgium.

Sam Durant Am I Not Equal?, 2018 Electric sign with vinyl text 52 x 60 x 10 in. (132.1 x 152.4 x 25.4 cm) Edition 1 of 3, + 2 APs

Sam Durant
Am I Not Equal?, 2018
Electric sign with vinyl text
52 x 60 x 10 in. (132.1 x 152.4 x 25.4 cm)
Edition 1 of 3, + 2 APs

Justin Matherly Non-Vicious Circle, 2014 powder coated steel, wood, artillery shell casings, stainless steel cable (fabrication Sebastian Clough, Justin Scoltock) ​55 x 49 5/8 x 41 1/4 in. (139.7 x 126 x 104.8 cm)

Sam Durant
Non-Vicious Circle, 2014
powder coated steel, wood, artillery shell casings, stainless steel cable (fabrication Sebastian Clough, Justin Scoltock)
55 x 49 5/8 x 41 1/4 in. (139.7 x 126 x 104.8 cm)

Sam Durant Palindrome, 2019 pencil and spray paint on paper, 51 1/2 x 70 in. (130.8 x 177.8 cm)

Sam Durant
Palindrome, 2019
pencil and spray paint on paper, 51 1/2 x 70 in. (130.8 x 177.8 cm)

Sam Durant, Labyrinth, 2015, created by Sam Durant for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program's Open Source project, steel, 96 x 480 x 480 in. (243.8 x 1219.2 x 1219.2 cm), located at 1401 JFK Boulevard on Thomas Paine Plaza across the street from City Hall, Philadelphia, PA., Photo by Steve Weinik for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

Sam Durant, Labyrinth, 2015, created by Sam Durant for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program's Open Source project, steel, 96 x 480 x 480 in. (243.8 x 1219.2 x 1219.2 cm), located at 1401 JFK Boulevard on Thomas Paine Plaza across the street from City Hall, Philadelphia, PA., Photo by Steve Weinik for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

Sam Durant
The Acton Monument, 2005
MDF, fiberglass, polyurethane foam, enamel & acrylic paint
62 x 27 x 27 in (157.5 x 68.6 x 68.6 cm)

Sam Durant Fort King Stone Marker, Florida, 2005 graphite on paper 30 x 22 in. (76.2 x 55.9 cm) frame: 33 x 25 in. (83.8 x 63.5 cm)

Sam Durant
Fort King Stone Marker, Florida, 2005
graphite on paper
30 x 22 in. (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
frame: 33 x 25 in. (83.8 x 63.5 cm)

Sam Durant Do Good Things!, 2018 electric sign with vinyl text 45 x 75 x 10 in. (114.3 x 190.5 x 25.4 cm), Edition of 3, 2 APs

Sam Durant
Do Good Things!, 2018
electric sign with vinyl text
45 x 75 x 10 in. (114.3 x 190.5 x 25.4 cm), Edition of 3, 2 APs

Sam Durant Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C., 2005, 30 monuments and one architectural model: MDF, fiberglass, foam, enamel, acrylic, basswood, balsa wood, birch veneer, copper  Dimensions variable

Sam Durant
Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C., 2005,
30 monuments and one architectural model: MDF, fiberglass, foam, enamel, acrylic, basswood, balsa wood, birch veneer, copper 
Dimensions variable

Sam Durant
Architectural model from Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C., 2005
MDF, fiberglass, foam, enamel, acrylic, basswood, balsa wood, birch veneer, copper
48 x 150 x 16 inches (121.9 x 381 x 40.6 cm.)

Sam Durant Les Armes Miraculeuses, 2014 marble, wood, eggs, shells (fabrication, Dan Axe, Telara Studio d’Arte, Carrara, Italy) ​overall: 34 x 18 1/2 x 24 in. (86.4 x 47 x 61 cm)

Sam Durant
Les Armes Miraculeuses, 2014
marble, wood, eggs, shells (fabrication, Dan Axe, Telara Studio d’Arte, Carrara, Italy)
overall: 34 x 18 1/2 x 24 in. (86.4 x 47 x 61 cm)

Sam Durant Scramble for Africa, 2020 colored pencil on paper 46 5/8 x 59 1/4 in. (118.4 x 150.5 cm)

Sam Durant
Scramble for Africa, 2020
colored pencil on paper
46 5/8 x 59 1/4 in. (118.4 x 150.5 cm)

Sam Durant Another World Is Possible, 2019 electric sign with vinyl text ​44 x 60 in. (111.8 x 152.4 cm), Edition of 3, 2 APs

Sam Durant
Another World Is Possible, 2019
electric sign with vinyl text
44 x 60 in. (111.8 x 152.4 cm), Edition of 3, 2 APs

Sam Durant Dead Labor Day, 2010 wood, metal, water dispenser 192 x 299 1/2 x 170 in. (487.7 x 760.7 x 431.8 cm)

Sam Durant
Dead Labor Day, 2010
wood, metal, water dispenser
192 x 299 1/2 x 170 in. (487.7 x 760.7 x 431.8 cm)

Sam Durant Men's Vices Are My Domain (Joyce Mansour), 2014 graphite and enamel on paper (drafting assistance by Dina Sherman) frame: 23 1/4 x 23 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (.6 x 59.1 x 3.8 cm)

Sam Durant
Men's Vices Are My Domain (Joyce Mansour), 2014
graphite and enamel on paper (drafting assistance by Dina Sherman)
frame: 23 1/4 x 23 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (.6 x 59.1 x 3.8 cm)

Sam Durant "...the great game of hide and seek has succeeded, it is them because, on that day, the weather is most certainly too blindingly bright and beautiful to see clearly therein", 2014 globe, acrylic (painting Steve Nunez) 32 in. diameter (81.3 cm diameter)

Sam Durant
"...the great game of hide and seek has succeeded, it is them because, on that day, the weather is most certainly too blindingly bright and beautiful to see clearly therein", 2014
globe, acrylic (painting Steve Nunez)
32 in. diameter (81.3 cm diameter)