Scottsdale Public Art

Permanent Art

Garden of Evidence

Dennis Oppenheim's Garden of Evidence is sculpture with landscape elements distributed throughout the entry plaza of the forensics lab and the police station. Six architectural scale prickly pear cactus forms are placed within shadow forms which play with the vertical shapes on the ground plane. Forms of evidence analyzed inside the forensic lab provide the imagery for other landscape elements. These tools of investigation combine with the interlocking cactus and bench forms to create pieces of thematic puzzle.


Oppenheim was born in 1938 in Electric City, Washington. He received his B.F.A. from the School of Arts and Crafts, and an M.F.A. from Standford University. After graduation, Oppenheim lived and worked in New York City. He first achieved recognition for conceptual work in the 60s, traversing through Earth and Body Art, video and performance. Using his body as a site to challenge the self, he also explored, through numerous gallery and museum installation, the boundaries of personal risk, transformation, and communication. In the 80s, he used machine-factory installations to create metaphors for the artistic process. Since then the artist concentrated on permanent public sculpture. Through this work he fused an interest in architecture with sculpture.

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