Sam Durant’s artistic practice reveals the illusions of historical objectivity and the United States’ suppression of the narratives of marginalized groups. Grounded in extensive historical research, Durant juxtaposes bygone histories of protest movements with current manifestations of oppression in order to illuminate the irreversibility of colonialism and the necessity for social engagement. For his deeply conceptual, layered works, which are aesthetically varied and produced in numerous mediums, Durant also draws source material from the intersection between politics, American pop culture, and art history. A notable influence for the artist was the work of Robert Smithson, particularly his conception of entropy and history.
Durant's work has been exhibited at numerous international institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Palais de Tokyo, the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim Museum, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. He was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, the 2003 Venice Biennale, and Documenta 13 in 2012.