Initially part of the architectural sculpture movement of the early 1970s, Donna Dennis is best known for her complex sculptural installations with sound. BLUE BRIDGE/red shift, a 24-foot long evocation of railway drawbridges was exhibited at SculptureCenter in NY in 1993 and her subway-inspired Deep Station filled the lobby of the Brooklyn Museum in 1987. In 2007, the outdoor sculptures Tourist Cabins on Park Avenue, were exhibited on Park Avenue, NYC. In 2013, Coney Night Maze, a complex mixed media installation with sound that drew inspiration from the maze of layered fences, gates, ramps and barriers that nestled beneath the Cyclone roller coaster, was seen at the Neuberger Museum.
Her work is included in Phaidon Press’ Sculpture Today, which overviews sculpture worldwide during the past 50 years. In 2004, her work was seen in "Architecture & Arts 1900–2004," at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, Italy, curated by Germano Celant. A frequent collaborator, Dennis has worked with poets Anne Waldman, Kenward Elmslie, Daniel Wolff and Ted Berrigan and with performance artist/puppeteer Dan Hurlin. National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Carla Bley wrote Roller Coaster for the opening of Coney Night Maze.
Donna Dennis’s work is in prominent collections including the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Art Museum, the Microsoft Collection, the Walker Art Center, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Aachen, Germany, the Indianapolis Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Neuberger Museum, and the Martin Z. Margulies Collection. Permanent public art commissions are located at John F. Kennedy Airport, P.S. 234, in Tribeca, Queens College, and at the Wonderland MBTA Station in Boston. Grants and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, several National Endowment Fellowships, and Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants. In recent years she received the prestigious Artists’ Legacy Foundation Award, the Merit Award in Sculpture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Anonymous Was a Woman Award. She was elected to the Academy in 2010 and is Professor Emerita at Purchase College, SUNY. She lives and works in New York City.