Doug Aitken portrait - In 2012, one could contact American Modern Museum via a black mirror online station house

Doug Aitken

United States 1968

Installation, Sculpture, Photography, Video Art

Doug Aitken
Doug Aitken
United States
April 18, 2017
Andreja Velimirović is a passionate content writer with a knack for art and old movies. Majoring in art history, he is an expert on avant-garde modern movements and medieval church fresco decorations. Feel free to contact him via his Linkedin profile:

Defying all the traditional logics of belonging to any one style or genre, Doug Aitken is a contemporary American artist who has explored every medium out there, experimenting with everything from architecture and film to installations and interventions. His work varies in both theme and context, but everything he authors shares a common thread – the ability to use technology and evoke meaningful personal reactions from the viewer, encourage audience interaction and inspire public gatherings.

Doug Aitken - Installation view at 303 Museum Gallery - Image via amazonnawscom
Doug Aitken – Installation view at 303 Gallery – Image via

A Strong Variety Right From the Start

Doug Aitken was born in Redondo Beach during the year of 1968. When he was nineteen years old, young Doug studied magazine illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena – however, he eventually shifted his interests and graduated in Fine Arts in 1991. He moved to New York in 1994 where he held his first solo show at 303 Gallery, introducing himself to the world of art. Right from the start of his career, Aitken’s work was technically varied. His art ranged from photography, printmaking, sculpture and architectural interventions, to narrative films, sound and multi-channel video works, installations and live performance pieces. His work simply defied categorization[1].

Tackling a range of subjects with everything between sculptures and film, Doug Aitken uses the latest technologies available to him in order to expand the traditional notions of art

Doug Aitken - Space - Image via pinterestcom
Doug Aitken – Space – Image via

Occasion Installations That Defy Categories

Although his practice is extremely varied, Aitken is now probably most famous for his site-specific installations, pieces that often aim at synthesizing interactive media with architecture. Some of his most famous works of this kind are Underwater Pavilions (2016), Mirage (2017) and Electric Earth (2016). Since the mid-1990s, Aitken has created installations that employ multiple screens in architectural environments. He heavily depends on video art in his work and has used it in his installations for decades now. Pieces such as Diamond Sea (1997) and Glass Horizon (1998) are a fine indicator of how Doug utilizes video elements within his installations.

Doug Aitken creates works of art that illuminate how we experience the world

Doug Aitken - Museum Sleepwalkers, 2007 - Image via amazonawscom
Doug Aitken – Sleepwalkers, 2007 – Image via

A Further Glance at the Diversity of His Work

As one may certainly expect by now, Doug Aitken is an artist fond of original concepts and ideas, such as his liquid architecture pieces. Maybe the best example of this kind of work is the freestanding installation from 2012, titled as Altered Earth. It explores the Camargue region of southern France in a maze-like flowing arrangement of twelve large projections. As it was already clued at earlier, Aitken has directed many live happenings, such as the Broken Screen performances held in Los Angeles and New York in 2006. Doug is also famous for his sculptures[2] and photographs that explore spatial and temporal disruption and narrative suggestions – much like his site-specific installations works. Naturally, the art community can never get enough of this author’s works due to the incredible diversity Doug Aitken displays on a regular level – he has participated in over 200 art exhibitions throughout the world and that number just keeps on rising as the weeks fly by.

Doug Aitken explained his creative motivations with the following statement: We’re living in a tremendously new landscape and the possibility of what can be created is immense

Directly contact the museum house through the Black Mirror Station in New York
Doug Aitken – Party – Image via

Doug Aitken – The Master of Contemporary Art

Nowadays, the name of Doug Aitken is virtually synonymous with futuristic aesthetics in contemporary art. Unlike anything else emerging from the 20th-century and later periods in art, this artist’s keen awareness of motion, sound and color results in dreamlike modern pieces that explore themes of displacement and temporality. A master of video, photography, sculpture and performance, Doug Aitken has a certain way of taking the viewers unaware[3], eliciting responses that are oftentimes unexpected and profound. This is the core of all his art regardless of the technique.

Doug Aitken lives and works in Los Angeles and New York City, USA.


  1. Herbert, M., Lamm, A., Heiser, J., Eichler, E., Akel, J., Doug Aitken, Verlag für Moderne Kunst; Bilingual edition, 2015
  2. Erickson, E., Aitken, D., Doug Aitken: Sculptures, JRP|Ringier, 2015
  3. Birnbaum, D., Sharp, A., Heiser, J., Doug Aitken, Phaidon Press, 2001

Featured image: Doug Aitken – Photo of the artist – Image via
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Doug Aitken: Electric EarthThe Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA Solo
2016Doug Aitken: migration (empire)Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE Solo
2016Doug AitkenPeder Lund, Oslo Solo
2016Da Fuga e do Encontro: Inversões do OlharEspaço Novo Banco, Lisbon Group
2016ProtestVictoria Miro Gallery, London Group
2016Daydreaming with Stanley KubrickSomerset House, London Group
2016Royal Academy of ArtsRoyal Academy of Arts, London Group
2016Come as You Are: Art of the 1990sBlanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX Group
2015Doug AitkenSchirn Kunsthalle, FrankfurtSolo
2015Doug AitkenGalerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich Solo
2015Cámara de MaravillasCentro de la Imagen, Mexico City Group
2015Come as You Are: Art of the 1990sThe University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), Ann Arbor, MI Group
2015Falling Fictionsme Collectors Room Berlin, Berlin Group
2015Reflections, Light and FormJohn Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA Group
2015Artists in their timeIstanbul Modern, Istanbul Group
2015Station to StationBarbican Art Gallery, London Group
2015Come As You Are: Art of the 1990sTelfair Museums, Savannah, GA Group
2015Rotation 1: Contemporary Art from the Peter Norton GiftKemper Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO Group
2015Works on PaperGalerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich Group
2015Come as You Are: Art of the 1990sMontclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ Group
2014Doug AitkenRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CA Solo
2014Testigo Del SigloMuseo de Arte de Zapopan, Zapopan Group
2014Art of SoundFondazione Prada, Venice Group
2014Corporeality and SexualityVotive Church, Vienna Group
2014Ilusión ópticaMuseo de Arte Moderno de Mexico City, Mexico City Group
2014Common Ground: EarthBorusan Contemporary, Istanbul Group
2013Doug Aitken: 100 Yrs, Part 2303 Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
2013Doug Aitken: 100 Yrs303 Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
2013Summer of PhotographyCarolina Nitsch, New York City, NY Group
2013A Sense of PlacePier 24 Photography, San Francisco, CA Group
2013HomebodiesMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, IL Group
2013The Hunter And The FactoryFundación Jumex, Mexico City Group
2013The Time is NowJohn Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA Group
2013DialoguesMAK Center for Art and Architecture, West Hollywood, CA Group
2012Doug AitkenGalerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich Solo
2012Doug Aitken: Song 1Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC Solo
2012Doug Aitken: Black MirrorGaleria Helga de Alvear, Madrid Solo
2012The Perfect Show303 Gallery, New York City, NY Group
2012Language GamesCentro de Artes Visuales Helga de Alvear, Cáceres Group
2012OC CollectsOrange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach Group
2012Inaugural Exhibition By Gallery ArtistsRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CA Group
20127th Liverpool BiennialLiverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Liverpool Group
2012Highlights 2012John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA Group
2011Doug AitkenVictoria Miro Gallery, London Solo
2011Doug Aitken: Black MirrorDESTE Project Space Slaughterhouse Hydra, Hydra Solo
2010Doug Aitken HouseRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CA Solo
2009electric earth by Doug AitkenCincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH Solo
2009Doug AitkenRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CA Solo
2009Doug Aitken, migration (empire)Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO Solo
2008Doug Aitken: Migration303 Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
200899¢ DreamsGalerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich Solo
2007Doug Aitken303 Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
2007Doug AitkenMuseum of Modern Art, New York City, NY Solo
2006Doug AitkenAspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO Solo
2005Doug AitkenRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CA Solo
2005Doug AitkenGalerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich Solo
2005Doug AitkenHenry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA Solo
2004Doug AitkenSammlung Goetz, Munich Solo
2004Doug AitkenSala Rekalde, Bilbao Solo
2004Doug Aitken: This Moment is the MomentTaka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo Solo
2004Doug AitkenMuseum het Domein, Sittard Solo
2004Doug Aitken: Estaremos seguros mientras todo se muevaCaixaForum Barcelona, Barcelona Solo
2003Doug Aitken. I don't existVictoria Miro Gallery, London Solo
2003Doug AitkenVictoria Miro Gallery, London Solo
2003Doug AitkenKunsthalle Zürich, Zurich Solo
2003Doug Aitken: New OceanFondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin Solo
2002Doug Aitken "Rise"MAGASIN-Centre National d’art Contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble Solo
2002Doug Aitken303 Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
2002Doug Aitken | new oceanTokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo Solo
2001Doug Aitken: New OceanSerpentine Gallery, London Solo
2001Doug Aitken: Metallic SleepKunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg Solo
2000DOUG AITKENWiener Secession, Vienna Solo
2000Doug Aiken: these restless mindsDallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX Solo
2000Doug AitkenGalerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich Solo
1999Doug AitkenVictoria Miro Gallery, London Solo
1998Doug Aitken303 Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1998Doug Aitken: Diamond SeaJiri Svestka Prague, Prague Solo
1997Doug Aitken303 Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1994Doug Aitken303 Gallery, New York City, NY Solo