Courtesy Dan Graham and the Lisson Gallery

Mirrors, metal, and an unflinching punk ethic are the hallmarks of Dan Graham’s architecture—which is not actually architecture in the traditional sense. But neither is his work truly conceptual art, as it is so frequently credited. Over a career spanning some five generations, the New York artist has become best known for his architectural pavilions, examples of which will be on display at London’s Lisson Gallery as part of the exhibit Dan Graham Pavilions. These constructs trace their lineage to minimalist sculpture but draw their inspiration from 1980s office architecture. They are built to a human scale, with two-way mirrors that enable viewers at certain vantage points to see others without being seen themselves—at times, the mirrors appeas to create spaces that are physically impossible. And as with the best formalist architecture, these works both define a space and suggest ways to interpret it. In a sense, Graham’s pavilions are best read as works of architecture: sketches, maybe, for structures with a typology all their own. But taken as a whole, Graham’s practice certainly qualifies him for the conceptual art tag: Consider his diverse writings on punk acts, from Television to Sonic Youth, or the faux magazine-article mock-ups he made as a young man. At his best, Graham is an architect’s artist—if not himself an architect, of a sort. March 21 through April 28. •