Sarah Oppenheimer

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Sarah Oppenheimer (b. 1972 Austin, Texas) is a visual artist based in New York City.

Oppenheimer’s work spans the disciplinary boundaries between sculpture and architecture. Her calculated manipulation of standardized spaces disrupts the embodied experience of spatial continuity. Oppenheimer’s work both disorients and clarifies the physical and perceptual experience of the built environment. Describing Oppenheimer’s work in Art Forum, senior editor Julian Rose writes, “Oppenheimer, literally working inside architecture, has found a new place for a new kind of subject. She offers a welcome reminder that architecture—and by extension the space of today—need not be experienced in a state of distraction, or worse, an induced fog of affect, but can instead be explored in a condition of uncertainty and attention.”[1] In Automatic Cities: The Architectural Imaginary in Contemporary Art, Giuliana Bruno writes, “Oppenheimer subjects the practice of architecture to inventive, analytic operations that question the inner structure of our forms of dwelling.” [2]

Oppenheimer received a BA from Brown University in 1995 and an MFA from Yale University in 1999. Oppenheimer’s first solo exhibition was held in 2002 at the Drawing Center, New York.[3] Since that time, her work has been exhibited internationally. In 2008, the Mattress Factory commissioned Oppenheimer to create a site-specific piece.[4] The artwork, entitled 610-3356, opened a section of flooring in the 4th floor gallery space, giving the viewer a new perspective on the outer perimeter of the museum. Writing about the piece in Modern Art Notes, Tyler Green comments that the work “dramatically changes the relationship between the viewer and an artwork, between the museum and the visitor, and even between the museum and its neighborhood.” [5][6]

In 2012, Oppenheimer presented a new body of work, D-33, at PPOW gallery in New York. Using a system of interlocking aluminum and glass apertures, Oppenheimer reconfigured the gallery space as a set of interconnected views. Writing about the piece for the New York Times, Roberta Smith describes Oppenheimer’s environmental artwork: “Difference prevails; a new variation on the empty-gallery-as-art is achieved; and space is torqued in ways both apparent and mysterious.”[7][8][9][10]

Also in 2012, the Baltimore Museum of Art opened its newly renovated wing, featuring a permanent commission by Oppenheimer. The piece intersects and intertwines four discrete contemporary art galleries within the museum.[11][12] [13]

In addition to solo exhibitions, listed below, Oppenheimer has participated in many group shows including “Analogs of the Built Environment”, Sculpture Center (2000), “Odd Lots”, White Columns, NY (2005),[14]"Off The Wall", Hunter College,New York, NY (2005), “Facts on the Ground”, CCS Hessel Museum (2007), “Automatic Cities”, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2009),[15] “Factory Direct”, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh PA (2012).

Oppenheimer has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2007); the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (2010-11); the Rome Prize (2010–11) and the Joan Mitchell Foundation fellowship (2011).

Selected solo exhibitions[16][edit]




  • Screen. Momenta. Brooklyn, NY
  • Box Man. Youkobo Art Space. Tokyo, Japan


  • 554-5251. P.P.O.W. New, York, NY



  • Annely Juda Fine Arts. London, UK
  • VP-41. Art Unlimited at Art Basel. Basel, Switzerland


  • D-17, Rice University Art Gallery. Houston, TX
  • OE-15, Von Bartha Garage, Basel, Switzerland



External links[edit]


  1. ^ Rose, Julian. Mirror Travel: Julian Rose on Sarah Oppenheimer’s W-120301, 2012. Artforum. April 2013. p 240-243
  2. ^ Clark, Robin with essay by Giuliana Bruno. “Automatic Cities: The Architectural Imaginary in Contemporary Art.” Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 2009.
  3. ^ Meredith, Michael. “Sarah Oppenheimer, Drawing Room.” Art Forum. September 2002. p 206-207
  4. ^ "Inner and Outer Space". ArtForum. 09.12.08.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ Green, Tyler. “Sarah Oppenheimer at the Mattress Factory” Modern Art Notes. May 21 and 22, 2008.
  6. ^ Green, Tyler. "My Top Ten List." Modern Art Notes. December 22, 2008.
  7. ^ Smith, Roberta (October 11, 2012). "Sarah Oppenheimer’s D-33 at P.P.O.W.". New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  8. ^ Kastner, Jeffrey. Sarah Oppenheimer, P.P.O.W. Artforum. November 2012. p 274.
  9. ^ Smith, Roberta (December 16, 2012). "Roberta Smith’s Year in Art". New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ Smith, Roberta (December 16, 2012). "Art Fairs Full of Bling if Not Fire". New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ Crow, Kelly (October 19, 2012). "A Baltimore Museum Becomes the Art Object". Wall Street Journal. p. D5. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  12. ^ Hirsch, Faye (December 2012). "Exhibition Reviews: Sarah Oppenheimer P.P.O.W.". Art in America. 
  13. ^ Kennicott, Philip (November 16, 2012). "Baltimore Museum of Art completes renovation of contemporary galleries". Washington Post. 
  14. ^ Kimmelman, Michael (September 9, 2005). "Inspiration From Real Estate Rejects". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ Clark, Robin with essay by Giuliana Bruno. “Automatic Cities: The Architectural Imaginary in Contemporary Art.” Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 2009.
  16. ^ Sarah Oppenheimer official website',, accessed December 12, 2012.