John Dugger


John Dugger was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He spent a year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before setting out for Europe in 1967. In London, he was part of the avant-garde group Exploding Galaxy in the late 1960s. He exhibited his artists' multiples, the Perennials, at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1970, and the tankas and ritual objects he collected during his travels in Nepal with fellow artist David Medalla were shown at the Hayward Gallery in 1971. In the early 1970s, Dugger began to work with cut-fabric appliqué banners, and organised collaborative/participatory projects such as People Weave a House in 1973. His earliest sculptures, what he called 'ergonic' or energy constructions, were first shown at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford and Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany, where he designed a pavilion dedicated to participation art.

Dugger travelled widely during this time, visiting China during the Cultural Revolution and he lived in Asia, Paris and London.  A theme that has concerned him for several decades since then is what he describes as 'the participatory relation of activity and the senses', as seen in his Sports Banners of the 1970s and '80s. His banners have been commissioned by numerous institutions and organizations, including the Arts Council of Great Britain, the House of Commons, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and Tate, London.

The Mountain Banners series began in 1985, when Dugger first transferred a mountain drawing he had made on the spot to a black canvas that became the central image of a banner. These works are inspired by Dugger's passion for mountaineering and by the Western Alpinist tradition of expeditionary drawing.

The banners that Dugger exhibited at England & Co in November 2007 were the results of his expeditions to the Himalayas and the San Juan Mountains and Grand Teton in the American Rockies. These works were drawn on site - often at altitudes of several thousand feet - and are later completed with fabric frames and hung with his own Soft-Rig tie system. Dugger described these works as 'Futuristic Mountainism' and sees them as celebrations of the common ground shared by artist and mountaineer.

John Dugger died at his home in California on 31 May 2023.

* John Dugger's Time-Zones banner in the Government Art Collection >>


John Dugger at England & Co Gallery.
This Could Happen to You: Ikon in the 1970s at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.
The Practice of Freedom, group exhibition, Students Union, Institute of Education, London.
Textiles: Art and the Social Fabric, group exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art (M HKA), Antwerp, Belgium.
Tibetan Names Memorial Quilts, participation-project with TANC, Berkeley, California.
Expeditionary Drawing & Banners, solo exhibition, Ruskin House, Brantwood, Coniston UK.
Mount Analogue, solo show, Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco.
Mayflower II Re-visited - Valise d'Participation, London Biennale event in Paris.
Expeditionary Mountain Banners, solo exhibition, England & Co, London.
Living Artists of the Alpine Club, John Mitchell Gallery, Old Bond St, London.
Purple Majesty Expedition, Telluride Festival, Telluride, Colorado.
Mount Wilson Banner, Colorado; and Grand Teton Banners, Wyoming, USA.
Fast and loose (My Dead Gallery), The Centre of Attention, Fieldgate Gallery, London.
Kanchenjunga 50th Anniversary, group exhibition, Alpine Club, London.
Mountain Banner Arts, Banff Festival, Alberta, Canada.
Zweiter Berliner Kunstsalon, curated by Adam Nankervis and Jill Rock, The Glass House, Berlin.
Mount Everest, installation, Rheged Centre, Cumbria, UK.
Mount Everest Banner, American Himalayan Foundation, San Francisco.
Mountains on Banners, solo exhibition, Kendal Festival, Cumbria, UK.
Mountain Banners, solo show, Alpine Club, London.
Art and Mountains - Conquistadors of the Useless, group show, Alpine Club, London.
Banner Peak, High Sierra expedition and banner project, Berkeley, California.
2001 Live in Your Head, Museum of Contemporary Art, Lisbon.
2000 Live in Your Head, Whitechapel Gallery, London.
Magic Square, centerpiece banner commission for Oracle Corporation HQ, California.
Kalachakra for World Peace, banner installation for Dalai Lama, Bloomington, Indiana.
Acoustic Banner System, designed for Wells Fargo Bank, California.
Highway Soft-Signage System designed for Cal Trans, California.
1996 Masks, group show for the Prince of Wales, Royal Festival Hall, London.
Commissions for films by Francis Ford Coppola, USA.
Flags, commission for film on the World Cup made for Coca-Cola Worldwide, USA.
Himalaya Notebook, India. Himalaya Banner, India and San Francisco.
India Notebook, India.
1991 Tibet Mountainscape, banner installation for the Dalai Lama, commission for Cathedral of St John the Divine,  New York.
X Windows, banner commissioned for Microsoft, California.
1989 L'inverse '89 (group exhibition including Dugger's 1988 project the Wall of Banners: French Revolution Bicentennial Banner, a proposal for the Pompidou Centre), La Villette, Paris.
After 1789, group exhibition with Guy Brett, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK.
American Flags, banner commission for American Restaurants, New York.
Founded Banner Arts USA, San Francisco.
Monte Rosa Banner Series, Italy and London.
Façade Banner Set, commission for Royal Festival Hall, London.
Fractal Kamel Banner, commission for USA Embassy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Art Works @ the Economist, commission for The Economist HQ, London.
Jobs & Industry Banner, House of Commons, London.
HM Queen's Birthday Banners, commission for Buckingham Palace, London.
The Red Wedge commission for Paul Weller & Red Wedge, London.
The Maker's Eye, group show, Crafts Council Gallery, London.
South Claunnie Ridge, first Mountain Strip Banner, Scotland and London.
Kunstlerfahnan, group exhibition of artists' flags, Mehr Kunst für Bonn, Germany.
Heal's Banner, Commission for Terence Conran, London.
Unquiet Studios, group exhibition, Critics Space 2, Air Gallery, London.
Centrepiece Banners, commission for GLC, London County Hall, London.
Art for Architecture, group show, Latham Associates, London.
Exhibition Centre Bahrain, commissions for Andry Montgomery Ltd, London.
The Rice Fields, commission for Unilever Corporation, London.
Recent Acquisitions, group exhibition including Dugger's Gymnast I Banner, Tate Gallery, London.
Annual Exhibition, group show, Contemporary Arts Society, London.
Sports Banners, solo exhibition, ICA, London.
Gymnast I & II, sports banners inspired by Erik Satie, London.
The Jets, The Clash, commission for CBS Records, London.
Lives, group exhibition, Arts Council of Great Britain, Hayward Gallery, London.
Drawings and Books for Artists, with Derek Boshier, Felicity Samuels Gallery, London.
Contextual Art Banner Project, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Art for Society, group exhibition, Whitechapel Gallery, London.
Chile Patchworks, exhibition with Guy Brett, AIR Gallery, London.
Chile Patchwork, banner installation, with Pete Seeger, Royal Albert Hall, London.
The Visual Artist and the Law, banner and installation for Art Law, London.
Wu Shu Kwan, banner and installation Flaxman Sports Centre, London.
The Drummers, banner and installation, Notting Hill Carnival, London.
Banner Arts Project, Greater London Arts Association, London.
A Vitoria E Certa, banner installation, Black Panther Party HQ, Oakland, California.
Banners!, installation and workshop, La Pena Cultural Center, Berkeley, California.
Published first version of Ergonic Messenger - Anti Manifesto, London.
Chile Vencera
, banner installation, Glide Memorial Church, San Francisco.
It Is Right to Struggle Against Oppression, banner for the United Farmworkers Union, California.
1974 Chile Vencera, banner installation, Trafalgar Square, London.
Democracy for Chile, group exhibition/event, Royal College of Art, London.
Artists for Democracy in Chile founded by Dugger with Guy Brett, David Medalla and Cecilia Vicuna during the RCA event.
Ergonic Workshop & Other Works, Artists Meeting Place, London.
People Weave A House!, Alternative São Paulo Biennale, Brazil.
Woven Architecture, solo exhibition, Architectural Association, London.
Participation Art Event, Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland.
The Gate of Freedom - The Masses, cast bronze gate (model scale), London.
People Weave A House!, participation-production project,  ICA, London (the poster for the project designed by Dugger with additions by David Medalla).
Underground Hospital, architectonic model with woven roof, London.
People's Participation Pavilion, with David Medalla, Documenta 5, Kassel, Germany.
Group exhibition (environmental theme), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK.
Survey of the Avant-Garde in Britain, Gallery House, London.
Star Weavers, participation-prodution artwork, UK.
In China, Dugger drew a portrait of a Chinese peasant leader/Central Committee member. His landscape painting, Yangtze River Bridge at Nanking, was acquired by the National Museum in Beijing.
Founded Artists Liberation Front, London, and issued first ALF Manifesto.
Microcosm, solo exhibition, Sigi Krauss Gallery, London.
Designed poster for the Festival of Films from China published by SACU, London.
Pioneers of Part-Art (group exhibition of Participation Art - David Medalla, Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica, John Dugger, Li Yuan-Chi and Graham Stevens), MOMA, Oxford, UK. Dugger's  Biomass Installation was shown in this exhibition.
3 to Infinity: New Multiple Art (group exhibition in which Dugger first exhibited the Body Conductor and the Perennials), Whitechapel Gallery, London.
Exhibited Curve Space Tubes sonic sculpture in Jetsound Dorje (Homage to Milarepa), Paris.
Made first Ergonic sculpture, The Perennial, and the Tub Lotus, Paris.
Constructed The Rains Retreat, an architectonic model, Paris.
The Conversation, participatory artwork, Paris.
The Potato Eaters, action with David Medalla, Mayflower II, River Seine, Paris.
Space Walk and Body Conductor sculptures, Manila.
1968 Buddha Ballet, performances with David Medalla, Hampstead Heath, London.
Chaung Tzu and the Butterfly Dream, performance/puppet dance-drama with David Medalla, Trafalgar Square, London.


Tate, London.
The Government Art Collection, UK.
National Museum, Bejing.
Arts Council England.


Barnes, Amy Jane, From Revolution to Commie Kitsch: (Re)-presenting China in Contemporary British Museums through the Visual Culture of the Cultural Revolution, thesis published by the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, 2010.
Brett, Guy, 'David Medalla: A Certain Way of Life'. Third Text, Issue 3, Autumn 2009.
'TEXTILES Kunst en het sociale weefsel' (Textiles: Art and the Social Fabric), M HKAZine, No.1, published by the Museum of Contemporary Art (M HKA), Antwerp, Belgium, 2009.
Mount Analogue: Expeditionary Drawings and Mountain Banners of John Dugger, exhibition catalogue published by Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco, 2008.
Brett, Guy, 'Tissues of Thought: Performance and Some Other Works in London 1970-1985', Third Text, Volume 22, Issue 2, March 2008.
Szeemann, Harald, with by through because towards despite: catalogue of all exhibitions 1957-2005, Springer Wien, New York, 2007.
Mallalieu, Peter, Artists of the Alpine Club, The Alpine Club, London, 2007.
Dugger, John, 'And I Made a Rural Pen', The Alpine Journal, Vol III, London, 2007.
Brett, Guy, Carnival of Perception, Inivia Press, London, 2004.
Cork, Richard, New Spirit, New Sculpture, New Money: Art in the 1980s, Yale University Press, 2003.
Walker, John A, Left Shift - Radical Art in 1970s Britain, IR Tauris, London, 2002.
Nesbitt, Judith, editor, and others, Live in Your Head: Concept and Experiment in Britain 1965-75, exhibition catalogue published by the Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2000.
Walker, John A, 'Protest in the 70s, Chile Vincera', Art Monthly, No.235, April 2000, London.
Dugger, John, 'The Magic Square', Fabric and Architecture magazine, USA, May-June 1999.
Douglas, Don, 'Banners and Flags', Industrial Fabrics Products Review, USA, June 1998.
Brett, Guy, Exploding Galaxies: The Art of David Medalla, Kala Press, London 1996.
Dugger, John, 'Soft, yet Rugged Rigging', Fabric and Architecture magazine, USA, May-June 1995.
Jacobwith, Jane, 'The Language of Banners', Industrial Fabrics Products Review, USA, October 1993.
New Socialist, No 48, London, 1987.
Owen, Jane, 'Banner Headline', The Independent, London,1987.
Rose, Cynthia, 'Bannermaker by appointment to Clash and the Queen', London Daily News, 23 April 1987.
Construction, No 59, London, 1987.
International Who's Who, 49th Edition, Europa Publications, London, 1986.
Flower, Lynda, Ideas and Techniques for Fabric Design, Longman Art and Design series, 1986.
Boshier, Derek, 'John Dugger', interview in Real Life Magazine, No 15, New York, 1986.
Company, May issue, London, 1986.
Building Design, No 767, London, 1985.
Von Joel, Mike, profile of John Dugger, Art Line, London, 1985.
Designing, No 10, London, 1985.
McGregor, Malcolm, A Day in the Life of London, Phaidon, London, 1984.
The Tate Gallery Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1980-82, published by The Tate Gallery, 1984.
Walker, John A, Art in the Age of the Mass Media, Pluto Press, London, 1983.
Interiors, January issue, London, 1982.
'Another Triumph', The Sunday Times Magazine, 10 January 1982.
Payne, Peter, The Art of Martial Arts, Thames & Hudson, London, 1981.
Nairne, Sandy, introduction, and Dugger, John, Sports Banners - John Dugger, exhibition catalogue published by the ICA, London, 1980.
'Boxing clever: a new study in martial choreography', The Sunday Times, 29 June 1980.
Cork, Richard, exhibition review in International Herald Tribune, Paris, 1980.
Lucie-Smith, Edward, Art of the Seventies, Phaidon, London, 1980.
Art International, April issue, London, 1979.
Boshier, Derek, Lives, exhibition catalogue published by the Arts Council of Great Britain, 1979.
Dugger, John, article on Banner Arts financial model, Art Monthly, No 25, London, 1979.
Lucie-Smith, Edward, Cultural Calendar of the 20th Century, Phaidon London, 1979.
'Martial Arts Banner Participation Project', article in The Guardian, 1977.
Mace, Rodney, Trafalgar Square: Emblem of Empire, Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1976.
Brett, Guy, 'Sharing Artistic Creation', exhibition review, The Times, London, UK, 1973.
Popper, Frank, Art: Action and Participation, New York University Press, NY, and Studio Vista, London, 1975.
Arts festival for Democracy in Chile (held at the Royal College of Art), programme published by Artists for Democracy, London, 1974.
Art & Artists, No 84, London, 1973.
Documenta 5: Befragung der Realität: Bildwelten Heute, Neue Galerie Schöne Aussicht, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, West Germany, Catalogue with texts by Harald Szeemann and others, Documenta GmbH/Verlagsgruppe Berelsmann/C.Bertelsmann Verlag, Kassel, 1972.
Flash Art, Documenta 5 Issue, Milan, Italy, 1972.
Brett, Guy, article in L'art Vivant, No 29, Paris, 1972.
Art & Artists, No 6., London, 1972.
Tisdall, Caroline, 'Chinese Agitscape' (an account of Dugger's trip to China), The Guardian, 15 December 1972, London.
Rhobo, Issue No 8, Paris, 1971.
3 to Infinity: New Multiple Art, exhibition catalogue published by Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1970.
France Soir, article, 20 November 1970.



The artist in China during the Cultural Revolution in 1972. © John Dugger Archive, England & Co. - image

The artist in China during the Cultural Revolution in 1972. © John Dugger Archive, England & Co.