Jim Denevan


Copyright 2022

Jim Denevan is an artist, chef, and founder of Outstanding in the Field. Through his land art, Denevan interacts with the earth’s topography to create works of varying scale in sand, earth, and ice. These pieces range from smaller beach compositions to large land works the size of a city. Each is ephemeral in nature, disappearing with the tides, the winds, the seasonal progressions. In the tables he sets and the land artworks he creates, there is an element of organic impermanence at play.

Denevan has been commissioned to create artworks across the world, both in the commercial and artistic space. Documentation of his land drawings have been exhibited at the Vancouver Sculpture Biennale, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, MoMA/PS1, and Peabody Essex Museum, among others. Denevan’s work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, GQ, The Surfers Journal, Outside, and Conde Nast Traveler, along with many other publications.

His life and art are the subject of the recently released film Man in the Field (2021), wherein director Patrick Trefz charts Denevan’s experiences over a period of eight years, exploring themes of process, grief, and discovery.

Denevan lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Photography credit: Peter Hinson, Patrick Trefz, Brighton Denevan

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

  • 2021
    "See Me: A Global Concert," World Economic Forum's Davos Agenda virtual event, Artist Collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma, Crane Beach, MA
  • 2017
    PINC Conference, Speaker, Sarasota, FL
  • 2015
    "Solar Light Geometry," Faena Arts Center, Miami Beach, FL
  • 2015
    "Jim Denevan," Rydell Fellowship Recipient Show, R.Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2014
    "Sharjah Sun/Light," Islamic Arts Festival: Art and Science, Sharjah, U.A.E.
  • 2013
    "Solar Light Geometry," Laguna Beach Art Museum: Art and Nature Festival, Laguna Beach, CA
  • 2013
    "Dinner Parties: Art and Agriculture," Sesnon Gallery, UC Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2012
    "Swept away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and design," Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY
  • 2012
    "Out of Line: A Show of Extended Drawing Practices," Richard L. Nelson Gallery & Fine Arts Collection, UC Davis, CA
  • 2012
    "Ripple Effect: The Art of H20," Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
  • 2010
    "The Artwork of: Jim Denevan," Windsor Art Gallery, Vero Beach, FL
  • 2010
    Vancouver Sculpture Biennale 2009-2011 Vancouver, Canada
  • 2010
    "Cielo/Sky Santa Cruz of Tenerife," Canary Islands, Spain
  • 2008
    "Sand: Memories, Meaning, and Metaphor," Parish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
  • 2008
    "Art Dinner," Instituto D'Arte di Porta Romano, Florence, Italy
  • 2007
    "National and International Projects: Jim Denevan/Ari Marcopolis," MoMA PS1, New York, NY
  • 2005
    "Catching the Waves," Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA
  • 2005
    "Big Deal & Blow Up," Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

T.V. AND FILM

  • 2014
    "Inspired by Outstanding in the Field," Inspired Online Series, FYI.TV, A+E Networks
  • 2012
    Land of Dreams United States Tourism Video, Discover America, USA
  • 2011
    "Art Hard" a documentary film by Meredith Danluck
  • 2010
    "NG Wow!" National Geographic
  • 2009
    Jim Denevan, ARD German Television
  • 2009
    Muse: Steven Soderbergh, Marlene Dumas, Jim Denevan, Bloomberg Television
  • 2008
    Spark: KQED Arts: Profile - Jim Denevan, PBS television show
  • 2008
    "Jim's Lines," a film by Patrick Trefz
  • 2008
    "Only Natural," CBS News Sunday Morning
  • 2007
    ARTLAND USA, Season 2: Episode 6
  • 2007
    "Thread," a film by Patrick Trefz
  • 2006
    "Sandman," a documentary by Chesley Chen

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • 2015
    Cartier Art Magazine number 41
  • 2015
    "Boundless Images," Malibu Magazine, April
  • 2013
    Jane Szita, "Sand Drawings by Jim Denevan: Artist Elevates a Summer Occupation", Frame 93, July/August
  • 2013
    Leah Patterson, "Melting Masterpieces: Impressive Works of Art Made from Snow and Ice", The Atlantic Monthly, January 25
  • 2013
    "Fleeting Beauty", Conservation Magazine, June 10
  • 2012
    Alison Steingold, "Circle in the Sand", California Style, March 16
  • 2012
    Wall Spin, "Art (Not) Made to Last," July
  • 2012
    "Earthwatch," GreenSource, September/October
  • 2011
    "The Inspiring Work of Jim Denevan," Curator, November
  • 2010
    "Twists Extreme Earth," Ripley Publishing Co, Ltd
  • 2010
    Art LTD, March, April
  • 2010
    "On the Edge" Sunset Magazine, vol. 224, no. 3, March
  • 2010
    Courrier Magazine, (Japan) January
  • 2010
    Richard Cork, "BIG," Carlton Books Publishing
  • 2009
    Outside Magazine, 'Exposure' feature, December
  • 2009
    Wired UK, November
  • 2009
    Crossroad Magazine, (Hungary) September/October
  • 2009
    "Remained in Zone," City Magazine, (Italy) Summer
  • 2009
    Diarmuid Gavin's Garden Designs Magazine (Ireland)
  • 2009
    M-Zone Magazine (China)
  • 2009
    Blonde Magazine (Germany)
  • 2009
    OnEarth Magazine, Summer
  • 2009
    Go Outside Magazine (Brazil) June
  • 2009
    Balde Magazine (Spain) June/July
  • 2009
    Nickelodeon Magazine, August
  • 2009
    The Bear Deluxe Magazine, Summer
  • 2009
    Sight and Architecture, Graphic-sha Publishing Co, Ltd
  • 2009
    Thread, Powerhouse Books Publishing
  • 2008
    "The Wandering Chef," GQ Magazine, February
  • 2008
    "Jim Denevan," Lubricated Zine, February
  • 2008
    "Jim Denevan, The Sandman," Surfers Magazine, (Germany) April-May
  • 2008
    "Jim Denevan," blue surf & travel magazine, (Germany) June
  • 2008
    "Sandy Storm," Skin Magazine,(Jordan) August
  • 2008
    "Nothing Lasts Forever," Rugged Magazine, August
  • 2008
    Letabure Magazine, (Russia) September
  • 2008
    Adbusters, November/December
  • 2008
    Michael Welland, "Sand, the Neverending Story," University of California Press
  • 2008
    "Jim Denevan," Dumbo Feather, pass it on (Australia) Winter
  • 2007
    Surfer, January
  • 2007
    "Land art: Quand les artistes se mettent au vert," Arts Magazine, (France) June
  • 2007
    "L'Uomo Della Sabbia," Elle Magazine, (Italy) June
  • 2006
    "Visions of Earth," National Geographic, June
  • 2006
    "The Sand Man," California Style, June-July
  • 2006
    W Magazine, July
  • 2005
    "Sand Blast," The New York Times Magazine, August
  • 2005
    "Denevan's Wake," Surfer's Journal, August-September

BOOKS

  • 2008
    Outstanding in the Field: A Farm to Table Cookbook, Jim Denevan with Marah Stets

COMMISSIONS

  • 2020
    Stüssy, "Stüssy Summer '20," Northern California
  • 2020
    GM commercial, Northern California
  • 2019
    Art Basel Dinner, Miami, Florida
  • 2015
    Clarks Boots, "The Desert Boot," Jean Dry Lake, Jean, Nevada
  • 2015
    Zazen Bear, Studio Matter, "Zen Garden," New York, NY
  • 2014
    Earth to Echo, Relativity Media, Water Drawing, Lucerne Dry Lake, California
  • 2011
    Amstel, "The Amstel Surfari," Mundaka, Spain
  • 2011
    Movistar Summer Experience 2011, Argentina
  • 2011
    Hyundai, "Make An Impression," Campaign, Australia
  • 2010
    Anthropologie, Drawing on Lake Baikal, Siberia
  • 2008
    Absolut Vodka, "In An Absolut World" Campaign, "In an Absolut World Cities Farm" Rockefeller Center, New York City, NY
  • 2006
    Land Rover/Range Rover, "Designed for the Extraordinary," television, print and billboard campaign, Point Conception, CA.

LECTURES/PRESENTATIONS

  • 2011
    PINC.12, People Ideas Nature Creativity, Netherlands
  • 2011
    "Capita Selecta Series," Living Landscape Academy of Architecture, Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, Netherlands
  • 2010
    "Opening Keynote Presentation," Opportunity, Diversity, Evolution, NJASLA Annual Meeting, Atlantic City, NJ
  • 2005
    "Catching the Waves," Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA

BUSINESS

  • 1999
    ongoing. Outstanding in the Field, Founder and Creative Director