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Dan Christensen

Daniel James Christensen

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Dan Christensen was an American abstract artist associated with Lyrical Abstraction (his works being featured in the Lyrical Abstraction exhibition from 1969) and color field painting. His early work from 1965-1966 was related to Minimalism.

A graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, class of 1964, Dan Christensen moved to New York City from the Mid-West during the late summer of 1965. Christensen was represented by several influential galleries including the Andre Emmerich Gallery, the Salander/O'Reilly Gallery and various others throughout the United States and Europe. He has had more than seventy-five solo exhibitions and his work has been included in hundreds of group exhibitions. His paintings are in important museum collections throughout the United States and Europe.

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Dan Christensen, (October 6, 1942 – January 20, 2007) was an American abstract painter He is best known for paintings that relate to Lyrical Abstraction, Color field painting and Abstract expressionism.

Christensen was born in Cozad, Nebraska, and died in Easthampton, New York. His early work from 1965-1966 was related to Minimalism. A graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, class of 1964, Dan Christensen moved to New York City from the Mid-West during the late summer of 1965. Christensen was represented by several influential galleries including the Andre Emmerich Gallery, the Salander/O'Reilly Gallery and various others throughout the United States and Europe. He has had more than seventy-five solo exhibitions and his work has been included in hundreds of group exhibitions. His paintings are in important museum collections throughout the United States and Europe.

Dan Christensen arrived in New York City in the summer of 1965 from the Mid-West, with the purpose of establishing himself as an important contemporary abstract painter. With his friend from Iowa - the painter David Wagner, he rented a loft on Great Jones Street in lower Manhattan. After several months of experimenting on new abstract paintings with interlocking rectangular "L" shapes in shades of tan, grey, ochre and brown that resembled jigsaw puzzles in oil paint, he began to use acrylic paint. Christensen began painting the series of abstract paintings for which he became first known - his Minimal "Bar" paintings in the spring of 1966. After Dave Wagner returned to Iowa in March 1966, his friend the painter Ronnie Landfield shared his Great Jones Street loft with him until the early winter of 1967.

Dan Christensen was part of a large circle of young artists who had come to Manhattan during the 1960s. Kenneth Showell, Peter Young, Michael Steiner, Ronnie Landfield, Dick Anderson, his brother Don Christensen, Peter Reginato, Carlos Villa, David R. Prentice, James Monte, Frosty Myers, Tex Wray, Larry Zox, Larry Poons, Robert Povlich, Neil Williams (artist), Carl Gliko, Billy Hoffman, Francine Tint, Lee Lozano, Pat Lipsky, John Griefen, Brice Marden, John Chamberlain, Donald Judd, Frank Stella, Carl Andre, Dan Graham, Robert Smithson, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Kenneth Noland, Clement Greenberg, Bob Neuwirth, Joseph Kosuth, Mark di Suvero, Brigid Berlin, Lawrence Weiner, Rosemarie Castoro, Marjorie Strider, Dorothea Rockburne, Colette, and Marisol were just a few of the artists he saw regularly at Max's Kansas City - the favorite place for artists in New York City during the 1960s.

In the late fall of 1966 the art dealer Richard Bellamy visited the Great Jones Street loft and began to represent Dan Christensen's work. Bellamy invited Christensen to exhibit his paintings at the Noah Goldowsky Gallery in the late spring of 1967. Dorothy Herzka co-curated a group exhibition that included Dan Christensen, Ronnie Landfield, Kenneth Showell, and Peter Gourfain in February 1967 at the Bianchini Gallery on W. 57th Street in Manhattan. All of those four painters were invited to be included in the Whitney Museum of American Art's 1967 Annual exhibition. In the late spring of 1967 Dan Christensen began painting with spray guns and produced his first "linear spray paintings," for which he became famous. By 1968 he began to exhibit his paintings in important art galleries from New York to California and worldwide. In the late 1960s he participated in several important exhibitions that traveled throughout the United States, including the Lyrical Abstraction Exhibition that originated at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. During the remainder of the 1960s and throughout the 1970s Christensen regularly exhibited his paintings at the André Emmerich Gallery, the Noah Goldowsky Gallery in New York City, the Rolf Ricke Gallery in W. Germany, the Nicholas Wilder Gallery in Los Angeles, and the Meredith Long Gallery both in Houston Texas, and New York City.

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Dan Christensen Famous works
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