Annual Rings

Artist: Dennis Oppenheim (American, Electric City, Washington 1938–2011 New York)

Date: 1968

Medium: Gelatin silver print(s), ink on paper, photomechanical prints, wax crayon

Dimensions: 101.6 x 76.2cm (40 x 30in.)
Frame: 106.7 × 81.3 cm (42 × 32 in.)

Classifications: Collages, Photographs, Prints

Credit Line: Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1999

Accession Number: 1999.212

Rights and Reproduction: © Dennis Oppenheim Estate


Here, Oppenheim enlarged the patterns of the tree's growth and, by shoveling pathways in the snow, transposed the annual rings to the frozen waterway that divides the United States and Canada as well as their time zones. By juxtaposing man-made national and temporal boundaries, Oppenheim opened to question the relative values of the ordering systems by which we live.