September 12, 1991- Spring 2004

Aug 25, 1991

Dan Graham: The Rooftop Urban Park Project

A project by Dan Graham organized for the roof Dia Center for the Arts at 548 West 22nd Street will open to the public on September 12, 1991. Hours are Thursday through Sunday, 12 noon to 6 pm.

Marking a new initiative for Dia's changing exhibition program, Dan Graham has transformed the roof into a small-scale urban park for the Chelsea neighborhood and the greater New York community. The project includes the installation of a large-scale architectural glass pavilion designed by Graham in collaboration with architects Mojdeh Baratloo and Clifton Balch. Graham will work with Dia to develop a program of performances, readings, and events in and around the pavilion. In addition, a small utility shed on the roof will be converted into a cafe and video viewing room.

Graham has developed an environment integrating aesthetic and utilitarian functions, and visual experiences, bringing the citiscape into the roof and extending the roof into the citiscape. Constructed from a two-way mirrored glass, the walls of the pavilion shift between transparent and reflective states as the intensity of light changes creating changing and complex visual effects with the sky, surrounding landscape, and interactions with people on the roof. A rooftop area will be available to the public where there are dramatic and unexpected views of Manhattan and the Hudson River.

A monitor with headphones will be set up in the cafe/video viewing room showing five pre-selected video programs (organized around themes Dan Graham has chosen) at set times during the visiting day for at least the first year following the opening of the roof project. The themes of these programs will be Architectural Video; Fairy Tale and Narrative; An Anthology of Performance; Cartoon and Animation; and a selection of videos by Dan Graham.

Graham was born in Urbana, Illinois in 1942 and lives and works in New York City. His work has been exhibited widely, especially in Europe. While he has received numerous public commissions in Europe, "The Children's Pavilion" a collaboration with Jeff Wall in 1989, was his first in the United States. A book of Graham's writings edited by Brian Wallis will be published by MIT Press in 1992.

The project at Dia will incorporate a full range of issues he has explored for over twenty years in various forms and settings, and will be referenced in a video by Graham and Dia which will be available in early 1992.

This exhibition has been funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, Washington D.C.; The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.; and the Cowles Charitable Trust.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518

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