First American retrospective of acclaimed German artist will be shown at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries/Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College

Feb 26, 2010

New York, NY -- In October 2010,Dia Art Foundation and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) will inaugurate the first comprehensive North American retrospective of the work of German artist Blinky Palermo (1943–1977). The retrospective is organized by Lynne Cooke and will begin its year-long tour at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on October 31, 2010. Following its presentation in Los Angeles, which concludes January16, 2011, Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964–1977 will be seen at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (February 24–May 15, 2011), then concurrently at Dia:Beacon and CCS Bard (June 25–October 31, 2011).

While Palermo’s reputation as one of the foremost postwar painters has been long established in Europe, his work is rarely seen in the United States. This encompassing exhibition introduces American audiences to all categories of Palermo’s highly influential career through a selection of approximately seventy works, many of which have never before been shown in the United States. The collaboration between Dia and CCS Bard represents the first major institutional partnership between two of the principal museums in New York’s Hudson Valley.

The exhibition provides a fresh and in-depth examination of the evolution of Palermo’s aesthetic, illustrating the significance of his contributions to the field of postwar painting. Surveying the four major types of work over his career, the retrospective comprises: objects he created shortly after he graduated from Joseph Beuys’s class at the Dusseldorf Art Academy in 1964; Cloth Pictures (Stoffbilder) ; documentation of in situ Wall Paintings and Drawings; and examples of his late Metal Pictures. The majority of the works will be on loan from private and public lenders in Germany.

The retrospective continues Dia’s longstanding commitment to the work of Palermo. Dia founder Heiner Friedrich, who represented the artist through his Munich gallery in the mid-1960s and presented his first solo exhibition in 1968, maintained a close friendship with the artist that lasted until Palermo’s untimely death in 1977, at the age of 34. In 1987, Dia inaugurated its exhibition space in Chelsea with major shows of works by Palermo, Beuys, and Imi Knoebel. Today, Dia:Beacon houses the only significant Palermo installation in the United States, centered on To the People of New York City (1976), a monumental painting in fifteen parts that will be part of the retrospective tour. A key work in Dia’s collection, this exceptional piece was the subject of a major scholarly monograph, Blinky Palermo: To the People of New York City, published by Dia in 2009.

The retrospective will be accompanied by a full-color publication, co-published by Dia and Yale University Press. The book will continue Dia’s tradition of rigorous scholarship, with original essays by Exhibition Curator Lynne Cooke, as well as art historians, including Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Suzanne Hudson, Susanne Küper, and James Lawrence. The publication will also include an introduction by Dia Director Philippe Vergne and CCS Bard Director Tom Eccles. The book will contain 150 full color photographs of some of the principal works in the show and will be available at all venues on the retrospective tour, as well as through Dia’s bookshop, www.diabooks.org.

The national tour of Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964–1977 is made possible by Gucci. Additional tour support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Brown Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Glenstone. Funding for the publication is provided in part by Sotheby’s, the Marx Family Advised Fund at Aspen Community Foundation, and The Andrew J. and Christine C. Hall Foundation.

Blinky Palermo
Blinky Palermo was born Peter Schwarze in 1943 in Leipzig, where he and his twin brother, Michael, grew up as adopted children under the name Heisterkamp. In 1962 he entered the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied with Joseph Beuys, and in 1964 he adopted the name Blinky Palermo, which he appropriated from an American boxing manager and mafioso. His first solo show was held in 1966 at Galerie Friedrich+Dahlem in Munich. In 1970 he made the first of several trips to the United States, relocating in 1973 to New York City, setting up a studio there which he would maintain for the rest of his life.

Palermo died in 1977, while traveling in the Maldives. His large-scale work To the People of New York City (1976) was shown at Dia in Chelsea, in 1987. During his lifetime, Palermo participated in more than seventy exhibitions including Documenta (1972); the 13th São Paulo Biennial (1975); and the Venice Biennale (1976). Posthumous retrospectives have been presented at the KunstmuseumWinterthur (1984); the Kunstmuseum Bonn (1994); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, in co-production with the Serpentine Gallery, London (2002–2003); and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2007).

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College is an exhibition, education, and research center dedicated to the study of art and curatorial practices from the 1960s to the present day. In addition to the CCS Bard Galleries and the Hessel Museum of Art, CCS Bard houses the Marieluise Hessel Collection of more than 2,000 contemporary works, as well as an extensive library and curatorial archives that are accessible to the general public. The Center’s two-year graduate program in curatorial studies is specifically designed to deepen students’ understanding of the intellectual and practical tasks of curating contemporary art. Exhibitions are presented year-round in the CCS Bard Galleries and the Hessel Museum, providing students with the opportunity to work with world-renowned artists and curators. The exhibition program and collection also serve as the basis for a wide range of public programs and activities exploring art and its role in contemporary society. For more information, visit www.bard.edu/ccs.

Dia Art Foundation
A nonprofit institution founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is committed to realizing and preserving the vision of artists. Dia displays selections from its collection of works from the 1960s through today at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, in Beacon, New York. Dia initiated a partnership with The Hispanic Society of America, where Dia presents commissions and projects by contemporary artists within the Society’s galleries, while developing a permanent home in West Chelsea for these initiatives. Additionally, Dia maintains long-term, site-specific projects. These include Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) (1988), and Dan Flavin’s untitled (1996), in Manhattan; The Dan Flavin Art Institute, in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria’s Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977), in Kassel, Germany; and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), and De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977), in the American West. For additional public information, visit www.diaart.org.

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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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