Dennis Hopper - Scratching The Surface

October 6, 2014

Widewalls has recently been exhibitinging a devotion to the art of photography, paying homage to some of the most engaging masters of the lens in the 20th and 21st century. This summer, we have been talking about Dennis Morris and his exhibition featuring Sex Pistols, called The Bollocks. You’ve also had a chance to appreciate the detailed presentation of a photography book entitled Skinheads 1979 – 1984. Most recently, we have been enjoying artwork by Robert Mapplethorpe. Now, we are here to remind you of another great photographer and a chance to enjoy his work in Rome this fall…

Dennis Hopper - Scratching The Surface
Dennis Hopper, Biker Couple, 1961

Dennis Hopper – Moving Pictures and Photography

A cult actor and director, there is no need to introduce this man in detail, primarily because, in all likelihood, if you are reading these lines, you know of the work of Dennis Hopper. Born in 1936 and died four years ago, the artist has built an inspiring heritage during his lifetime. Most of us know him by Easy Rider from 1969 and memorable performances in The American Friend from 1977, Apocalypse Now (1979), Hoosiers (1986) as well as Blue Velvet (1986). He had shown his directorial skills in with Colors (1988). And although these titles are the achievements for which the actor and director is widely recognized, there is another aspect to his creative work – Dennis Hopper managed to capture the unique atmosphere of the 1960s America. His lens has captured certain mesmerizing angles of the popular culture of one period, including iconic figures such as Andy Warhol, Jane Fonda and John Wayne. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum of Modern Art, New York and Carnegie Museum of Art represent a list of cultural institutions which include public collections of work by Dennis Hopper. Notable exhibitions in 21st century include Dennis Hopper: A Keen Eye; Artist, Photographer, Filmmaker, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 2001, Dennis Hopper: A System of Moments, Museum fur angewandte Kunst, Vienna, 2001, Dennis Hopper: Double Standard, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2010, Dennis Hopper: En el camino, Museo Picasso, Malaga, 2013, and The Lost Album, Gagosian New York, 2013, to name a few. Most recently, an ongoing show can be seen in Rome…

Dennis Hopper - Scratching The Surface
Dennis Hopper, Untitled (portrait David Hopper), c.1971

Scratching The Surface

This is the first time that the public in Rome can appreciate the mesmerizing aesthetics of artwork by Dennis Hopper through the first major exhibition of the artist’s work. Gagosian Gallery, Rome, will feature the photographs from the 1960s as well as Drugstore Camera series from the early 1970s. The Drugstore Camera photographs were shot in Taos, New Mexico, where the artist found a place for himself after the production of Easy Rider. The imagery is an amalgam of iconic individuals, cultural events and intimate moments, forming an inspirational view of the sixties, characterized by the humanistic optimism… The exhibition begun on September 23rd and it will last up to November 8th 2014, presented in conjunction with the 13th International Festival of Rome called FOTOGRAFIA.

Dennis Hopper - Scratching The Surface
Dennis Hopper, Robert Irwin, 1962

Dennis Hopper - Scratching The Surface
Dennis Hopper, Wallace Berman, 1964

All images ©Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust and

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