Don Christensen is an American contemporary artist and musician whose works include paintings, works on paper, wooden constructions, and sound installations.
Early life and education
Christensen was born in Gothenburg, Nebraska, in 1948. He studied at the University of Nebraska (1967–1969), Kansas City Art Institute (1969–1970). He subsequently moved to New York City (1971–2010); he now lives and works in East Hampton, New York. He is the brother of artist Dan Christensen.
After attending Kansas City Art Institute, Christensen moved to New York City in 1971. He worked as an artist’s assistant for 4 years in the studios of Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons and Larry Zox. He began playing music at CBGB and other lower Manhattan venues. This led to 15 years of touring and recording with various music ensembles: Raybeats, Bush Tetras, James Chance and the Contortions, James White and the Blacks, impLOG and the Philip Glass Ensemble. He also composed and recorded 15 film scores for Oscar-winner Faith Hubley and Emily Hubley. In 1990 at the age of 42 he began painting. Together with Dan Dryden, Christensen was an owner and conservator of the outsider artist Emery Blagdon’s life works, a collection now owned and exhibited by the John Michael Kohler Memorial Art Center. He was featured on the Kelly Rush PBS documentary short, Emery Blagdon & His Healing Machine. He also participated in the Moby Project, by recording a reading of the last chapter of Moby-Dick, the sound emerging from a rundown shed. His work has featured on Vogue's August 2007 cover.
- 2004 – “One Person Exhibition” – Bruno Marina Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
- 2010 – “Digitalized” – Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
- 2012 – “In The Color Pocket” – Ille Arts, Amagansett, New York
- 2007 – “Something About Mary” – Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa, California
- 2008 – “Present Tense” – Spanierman Contemporary, New York City, curated by Mary Heilmann and Don Christensen
- 2011 – “Hybrid: Between Abstraction and Representation” – Byrdcliffe Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock, New York
- 2012 – “Open for the Stones” – Harper’s Books, East Hampton, New York
- 2012 – “Seating Arrangement” – Ille Arts, Amagansett, NY
- 2013 – “Artists Choose Artists” biennial – Parrish Art Museum, Watermill, New York
- Segal, Mark. "The Art Scene: 08.21.14". The East Hampton Star. The East Hampton Star. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Present Tense: A group exhibition curated by Don Christensen with Mary Heilmann". Spanierman Modern. Spanierman Modern. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Mark, Segal. "A Life in Music and Art". EastHamptonStar.com. The East Hampton Star. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- ""Artists Choose Artists" Biennial Opens". HamptonsArtHub.com. HamptonsArtHub. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- 1992 – National Endowment for the Arts grant for painting
- 1996 – New York Foundation for the Arts painting fellowship award
- 2005 – Aljira Emerge 6 Program