Dia Announces 2019 Season at Dia:Beacon As It Moves Forward with Upgrade and Expansion of Chelsea Galleries This Spring

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2018

Dia Announces 2019 Season at Dia:Beacon
As It Moves Forward with Upgrade and Expansion of Chelsea Galleries This Spring 

Highlights of Upcoming Program at Dia:Beacon Include

  • Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress—the first North American retrospective of this influential German artist will span the entirety of her practice and include 155 works recently acquired by Dia
  • Lee Ufan—following a close collaboration with the artist and Dia’s 2017 acquisition of three of his installations, this display will place his work in the context of Dia:Beacon for the first time, tracing connections between concurrent artistic movements in Asia, Europe, and North America
  • Sam Gilliam—one of Gilliam’s large-scale, free-standing, painted canvas installations will fill an entire gallery
  • Marian Zazeela—approximately 30 of Zazeela’s works on paper will be on view, including posters and ephemera that relate to her sound and light practice with long-time collaborator La Monte Young
  • Mel Bochner—to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first time that Bochner exhibited works from his Measurement series, Dia has commissioned a new, large-scale work from that series for one of the largest galleries at Dia:Beacon
  • Barry Le Va—a survey of Le Va’s early floor-based works, including rarely seen powder dispersals and an accompanying installation from his Cleaver series

Beacon, NY, December 18, 2018 – Dia announced today key programmatic highlights and initiatives for its 2019 season, which include an expanded exhibition program at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York, and the launch of its multiyear campaign to upgrade and revitalize its gallery spaces and artist sites. The Dia:Chelsea galleries will be the first to undergo renovation and upgrades, which will begin in spring 2019, following the presentation of solo exhibitions dedicated to Nancy Holt and Blinky Palermo, which are on view through March 9. Throughout the year, Dia:Beacon will present nine new exhibitions and installations, highlighting iconic artists from the collection—Donald Judd and Andy Warhol—as well as introducing new voices—Sam Gilliam, Charlotte Posenenske, Lee Ufan, and Marian Zazeela, among them.

“2019 will offer the most extensive year of exhibition programming at Dia:Beacon to date, bringing much-loved works such as Andy Warhol’s Shadows (1978–79) and Donald Judd’s plywood sculptures back to our galleries upstate, as well as introducing many artists for the first time. The exhibitions offer both a deep engagement with core artists in Dia’s collection of Minimalism from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a broader view of parallel movements—Mono-ha, Postminimalism, and 1960s abstraction—to tell a more comprehensive narrative of this period of art history,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director. “As we move forward with our capital project and planned renovation of Dia:Chelsea next year, we invite our visitors to explore our ten other programmatic spaces and artists’ sites that are part of the Dia constellation, including Beacon, Bridgehampton, Manhattan, and beyond.”

The year 2019 at Dia:Beacon will start with an expanded presentation of Dorothea Rockburne, featuring two additional galleries of works from the 1970s and 1980s, and an installation of Andy Warhol’s celebrated Shadows, which will return to Beacon following its international tour and recent installation in New York City. In March the first North American retrospective of Charlotte Posenenske will provide audiences with the opportunity to explore the evolution of the influential-yet-underrecognized Minimal and Conceptual artist. Spring 2019 will see an exhibition of works by Lee Ufan, which will highlight Dia’s 2017 acquisition of several pieces by the artist. A key member of the Mono-ha movement, Lee’s practice will be placed in the context of his North American peers, such as Michael Heizer, Donald Judd, Robert Smithson, and Michelle Stuart, tracing the formal, historical, and material connections among these artists. In summer 2019, Dia will reinstall several works by Donald Judd from the collection, and will open a site-specific Sam Gilliam display, which will bring together a large-scale Drape work and examples of his Beveled-Edge and Hard-Edge paintings from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The latter part of the year will include installations of works by Mel Bochner, Barry Le Va, and Marian Zazeela. Well known for her sculptures and works in light, Zazeela also produced works on paper. Dia will present approximately 30 of these works from various points in her career. In 1969 Mel Bochner created his first Measurement room at Dia cofounder Heiner Friedrich’s Munich gallery. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of this moment, Dia has commissioned a large-scale work from the series for Dia:Beacon; Bochner’s commission will map the surfaces of one of the museum’s largest galleries. Dia:Beacon’s final exhibition of 2019 will present a survey of Barry Le Va’s important floor-based installations. First conceived of in the late 1960s, the works exemplify the key role that Le Va played in the early days of the Process movement. These site-dependent works, which will be remade in the galleries of Dia:Beacon, push the notion of sculpture to its formal limits and act as a counterpoint to the stark forms of Minimalism on view in nearby galleries. Full exhibition details and dates follow below.

About Dia’s Expansion and Revitalization

In June 2018 Dia announced a comprehensive, multiyear plan to advance Dia’s mission and program, including the upgrade, revitalization, and ongoing stewardship of its key programmatic spaces and artist sites. As part of the plan, Dia will begin renovation of its gallery spaces at West 22nd Street in Chelsea, New York City, to create a unified, 32,500-square-foot facility, including 20,000 square feet of integrated, street-level exhibition and programming space. Renovation will begin in spring 2019 and Dia:Chelsea will reopen in fall 2020.While renovations are taking place at Dia:Chelsea, Dia’s other sites will remain open, including those in New York City, all of which offer free admission—Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, inaugurated at Documenta 7 in 1982)—as well as Dia’s sites in Beacon, Bridgehampton, New Mexico, Utah, and Kassel, Germany.

Dia:Beacon 2019 Detailed Exhibition Schedule

Dorothea Rockburne
Expanded exhibition reopens January 12, 2019 (long-term view)
Following the 2018 presentation of Dorothea Rockburne’s large-scale works from the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dia will reopen the expanded exhibition in January with two new galleries, focusing on works produced in the early 1970s through the early 1980s.

The first gallery will feature an interactive carbon paper installation by Rockburne, dating from 1973. The artist began to use carbon paper as one of her materials in the early 1970s, creating large wall installations by folding, pressing, and scoring a sheet of carbon paper against the wall and subsequently allowing marks to durationally “make themselves” as pigment was disturbed and transferred to other surfaces. As visitors move through the gallery at Dia:Beacon, they will unconsciously engage with the works by creating micro drafts of air that will dislodge particles in the wall drawings. Over time, as these transfers take place, the room will become a visual log of the activity within it and the time that has passed. 

Rockburne became preoccupied with the Golden Section or “divine proportion” as she pursued a new artistic language born from her understanding of the presence of geometry in nature as well as human-made surroundings. The second gallery will present works from Rockburne’s Golden Section Paintingsseries of the 1970s, constructed from linen coated in gesso and varnish, which were then cut and folded based on the Golden Section. Also on view will be five of Rockburne’s Egyptian Paintings, a monochromatic series developed in the late 1970s, which employed new materials to explore these ideas and incorporated her interest in the art of ancient Egypt. 

Andy Warhol: Shadows
Opens January 26, 2019 (long-term view)

Following an extensive international tour and its recent presentation in New York City, Andy Warhol’s Shadows (1978–79) will return to Dia:Beacon for long-term view in January. A single painting in multiple parts, Shadows is one of Warhol’s most abstract works, yet one that cohesively synthesizes key elements of his practice, including film, painting, photography, and screenprinting. Originally commissioned by Dia and acquired in 1979 for a solo exhibition at 393 West Broadway in New York City, Shadows includes a total of 102 canvases; the final number of canvases on view in each installation is determined by the dimensions of an existing exhibition space. For the installation at Dia:Beacon, 72 canvases will be installed edge to edge, a foot above the floor. 

Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress
March 8–September 9, 2019
Marking the first North American retrospective dedicated to German artist Charlotte Posenenske and the most comprehensive exploration of the artist’s work since her death in 1985, Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress will shed new light on the entirety of Posenenske’s focused yet intensely productive practice. While she exhibited widely during the years that she was active as an artist, Posenenske turned away from art to pursue the study of labor after 12 years of artistic production, and her contributions to the discourse of Minimal and Conceptual art have remained largely overlooked. This retrospective will recover Posenenske’s legacy as a critical and prescient voice within contemporary art, and will examine her development of site-specific, serial, and participatory practices.

Spanning her earliest experiments with mark making and drawing, to her transitional aluminum wall-reliefs, to her final modular sculptural projects, the exhibition will include both the original prototypes for her sculptures as well as more than 150 newly fabricated elements. On view as part of the exhibition are newly acquired works by Dia—155 sculptural elements from four series designed by Posenenske during the final two years of her practice (1967–68).

Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress will travel to Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (October 18, 2019–March 8, 2020), Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Düsseldorf (April 4–August 2, 2020), and Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (October 2, 2020–January 10, 2021). 

Lee Ufan
Opens May 5, 2019 (long-term view)
A pioneer of the Mono-ha movement in Japan, Lee Ufan developed a sculptural practice in the 1960s that explored the tension between natural and man-made materials and the dialogue between object and space. In 1972 he changed the titles of the works that he had made up to that point to Relatum, referring to a concept in Heideggerian philosophy, which conveyed the artist’s interest in contingent circumstances. His use of “Relatum” can be compared to the frequent use of “untitled” by American Minimal artists. 

The exhibition at Dia:Beacon, resulting from close collaboration with the artist, will showcase Dia’s 2017 acquisition of three sculptural works by Lee—Relatum (formerly System, 1969), Relatum (formerly Language, 1971), and Relatum (1974)—alongside several important loans. Relatum (formerly System, 1969), one of Lee’s earliest Mono-ha sculptures, is composed of six steel plates that are bent at ninety-degree angles and positioned evocatively in relationship to the gallery’s architecture. Relatum (formerly Language, 1971) juxtaposes two diametrically opposite materials, pairing seven thick, soft cushions with large boulders. In Relatum (1974), a long wooden beam is suspended above a steel plate by a thick length of rope in a seemingly precarious arrangement that captures the interconnectedness of various materials; a defining principle of Mono-ha.

Donald Judd
Opens July 2019 (long-term view)
In a remarkably fertile period in the 1960s, Donald Judd determined a basic vocabulary of materials and simple geometric forms that would persist throughout his career. The materials—such as anodized aluminum, galvanized iron, stainless steel, Plexiglas, and plywood—were chosen for their lack of historical precedent in fine art and their affordability. Dia will present a gallery of works by Judd from its collection, including Untitled (1976), consisting of fifteen cubic boxes in Douglas fir plywood. These works illustrate his ongoing preoccupation with redefining the relationship between wall and floor, painting and sculpture, scale and gravity, site and presentation. 

Sam Gilliam
Opens August 2019 (long-term view)
One of the most important figures in American abstract art, Sam Gilliam emerged from the Washington, DC, cultural scene in the 1960s alongside Anne Truitt. Setting himself apart stylistically from Washington Color School painters such as Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, Gilliam experimented with vibrantly colored, draped, and suspended canvases. These pioneering Drape paintings moved his canvases from the frame and wall into three-dimensional space, imparting a sculptural element to the installations and allowing them to become site-specific. Unique to each space, the soft folds of canvas may not be draped the same way twice. At Dia, one of Gilliam’s largest free-standing canvas installations, Carousel II (1969), will fill an entire gallery.

Displayed alongside this large Drape work will be paintings from Gilliam’s Beveled-Edge and Hard-Edge series. The artist began producing his Beveled-Edge works in 1967 in the midst of a period of radical artist development, and they were swiftly recognized as a groundbreaking step in his practice. These works seemingly project the canvas beyond the wall, challenging the traditional two-dimensional nature of painting with an implication of mass and volume. His earlier Hard-Edge series, which he began in 1963, provide a crucial context for his later works. In this series, sharp-edged geometric shapes echo the work of Gilliam’s peers in the Washington Color School, but hint at a more spontaneous and uninhibited approach to coloration and form.

Marian Zazeela
November 2, 2019–Summer 2020
Since 1962, Zazeela has worked with her long-time collaborator, La Monte Young, on large-scale installations in sound and light. Though Zazeela’s sculptures and light design have become well known, her works on paper have remained decidedly less so. In fall 2019, Dia will present approximately 30 works on paper dating from 1962 to 1990 (with the majority from the 1960s and 1970s), which showcase the range of materials and motifs that stem from the artist’s deep interest in calligraphy and ornamental forms.

These works on paper advance what Zazeela has termed “borderline art”—challenging the distinction between decorative and fine art by using decorative elements in the fine art tradition, but also using actual borders as content themselves. Dia will also exhibit several examples of drawings for concert flyers and posters, as well as album covers, linking together Zazeela’s disparate practices.

Mel Bochner
November 2, 2019–Fall 2020
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Mel Bochner’s first Measurement room, Dia has commissioned Bochner to realize a new, large-scale work from his Measurementseries at Dia:Beacon. Regarded as one of the leading American Conceptual and Postminimal artists in the 1960s and 1970s, Bochner pioneered the play between the characteristics of numerical values, space, and language in his work. 

In May 1969 Bochner realized the first works in his ongoing Measurementseries,using black tape to draw simple, linear segments across the surfaces of Dia cofounder Heiner Friedrich’s Munich gallery. Punctuating these lines were numbers that corresponded to the length of the measured surface: the width of a window bay, the height of a doorframe, and so on. Several of the measurements were further subdivided, indicated by notched marks interspersed at intervals across a wall. In this work, as in subsequent iterations of this series, Bochner used lines to wrap around the architectural envelope of the gallery in a systematic evaluation of its spatial parameters and the perceptual experience that unfolds within it. At Dia:Beacon, red tape will map the various surfaces of one of the museum’s largest galleries, running horizontally across walls at a height corresponding to the artist’s eye level.

Barry Le Va
November 2, 2019–Fall 2020
Originally trained as an architect, Barry Le Va began creating horizontally dispersed sculptures while he was a student at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Though seemingly random—and emblematic of chance-based operations—these radical works are rigorously planned and arranged for each site-dependent installation.

This survey of Le Va’s floor-based installations from the 1960s will include two of his rarely seen powder dispersals, which will be reconfigured for a site-dependent space at Dia:Beacon. These installations are based on Omitted Section of a Section Omitted (1968–69), which was first presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials exhibition in 1969, and Le Va’s series of Brown Line chalk sculptures (also from 1969). Le Va’s dispersals push the notion of sculpture to its formal limits and challenge the stark, industrially fabricated forms of Minimalism. The presentation will also include several of Le Va’s signature floor works that utilize felt, ball bearings, and broken glass. In an adjoining gallery, the artist will conceive an installation from his Cleaver series. 

Taking its name from the Greek word meaning “through,” Dia was established in 1974 with the mission to serve as a conduit for artists to realize ambitious new projects, unmediated by overt interpretation and uncurbed by the limitations of more traditional museums and galleries. Dia’s programming fosters contemplative and sustained consideration of a single artist’s body of work and its collection is distinguished by the deep and longstanding relationships the nonprofit has cultivated with artists whose work came to prominence particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. 

In addition to Dia:Beacon and Dia:Chelsea, Dia maintains and operates a constellation of commissions, long-term installations, site-specific projects, and Land art, nationally and internationally. These include:

  • Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, which was inaugurated at Documenta in 1982), all of which are located in New York City
  • The Dan Flavin Art Institute (established in 1983) in Bridgehampton, New York
  • De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico
  • Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in Great Salt Lake, Utah
  • Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1973–76) in Great Basin Desert, Utah
  • De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany

As part of a strategic and comprehensive plan to further advance its mission, program, and ongoing operations, Dia will be upgrading and expanding its principal programming spaces of Dia:Chelsea, Dia:SoHo, and Dia:Beacon.

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For additional information or materials, contact:

Hannah Gompertz, 212 293 5598 or hgompertz@diaart.org
Juliet Sorce, 212 671 5158 or jsorce@resnicow.com

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