Dia Announces 2021 Exhibition Program Across Dia Beacon, Dia Bridgehampton, and Dia Chelsea

Expanded and revitalized Dia Chelsea to open to the public in April following eighteen-month-long building project

For Immediate Release
January 14, 2021

Highlights of the Upcoming Program Include:

  • The reopening of the expanded and revitalized Dia Chelsea with a newly commissioned film and sculptural light installation by Lucy Raven
  • The expansion of an Artist Web Project by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, publishing the artists’ collection of online recordings from Palestine, Iraq, and Syria
  • Two long-term exhibitions at Dia Beacon of newly acquired work by Charles Gaines and Joan Jonas
  • Three related collection displays at Dia Beacon of work by Imi Knoebel, Charlotte Posenenske, and Franz Erhard Walther
  • A new exhibition at Dia Bridgehampton of work by Maren Hassinger

New York, New York, January 14, 2021 – Today Dia announced programmatic highlights in 2021 across its eleven sites, including the reopening of Dia Chelsea with an exhibition of new work by Lucy Raven, following a two-year-long building project; five new exhibitions at Dia Beacon of Charles Gaines, Joan Jonas, Imi Knoebel, Charlotte Posenenske, and Franz Erhard Walther, as well as the reinstallation of work by Fred Sandback; a new exhibition at Dia Bridgehampton of work by Maren Hassinger; and the release of the second part of Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme’s Artist Web Project.

In April, Dia Chelsea reopens to the public with an exhibition of several large-scale installations by Lucy Raven, culminating a four-year-long engagement between the artist and Dia. Born in Arizona and based in New York, Raven’s work frequently addresses the complex histories of the American West’s formation and depiction, as well as the region’s contemporary role in global infrastructural development. Dia Chelsea offers free admission to its exhibitions upon reopening, which marks a milestone for the foundation: all five of its locations and sites in New York City are soon to be free to all.

The program of exhibitions at Dia Beacon begins in February with a collection-based exhibition of recently acquired work by Charles Gaines. Opening over the course of three months in spring 2021 are installations by Imi Knoebel, Charlotte Posenenske, and Frank Erhard Walther, who were born within a decade of each other in Germany. Though decidedly distinct, their work is linked through a shared sense of interactivity, fluidity, and an interest in process. Three large-scale installations by Joan Jonas are slated to open in October on Dia Beacon’s lower level. In December, an installation of yarn works by Fred Sandback returns to the galleries that the work previously inhabited for more than a decade. 

Opening in June, this year’s annual exhibition at Dia Bridgehampton features work by Maren Hassinger. Alongside this display, the artist expands on her community gatherings—or “twist outs”—with the local region.

Inaugurated in 1995, Dia’s Artist Web Projects series is the longest-running program in the United States that commissions artists to create original projects for the internet. Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work collaboratively across a range of media including film, sound, image, text, installation, and performance. In summer 2021, part two of their project May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth (2020– ), the artists’ archived collection of online recordings of performances from Palestine, Iraq, and Syria, will launch.

For more information about Dia’s new opening hours, ticketing, and health and safety protocols, please visit our Visitor Guidelines page. 

2021 Exhibition Schedule at Dia Beacon, Dia Bridgehampton, and Dia Chelsea

Charles Gaines
Opening February 12, 2021, Long-Term View
Dia Beacon

Charles Gaines has been interrogating the way meaning is constructed through lyrical, system-based work since the 1970s, when he began incorporating the grid as a central formal device in his work. A key figure in the development of Conceptual art, the artist analyzes, overlaps, and juxtaposes different systems of representation—mathematical, photographic, linguistic, notational—in order to reveal individual fallacies and collective poignancy. This focused, collection-based survey follows Dia’s recent acquisition of a body of work by Gaines. The exhibition brings the artist’s first mathematically determined grid drawings and early experiments with transcribing photographic images into numerical notations together with more recent investigations into how image, identity, and language are represented and deconstructed. 

Charlotte Posenenske
Opening March 26, 2021, Long-Term View
Dia Beacon

Before turning away from art production in 1968 in favor of a career in sociology, Charlotte Posenenske exhibited widely alongside peers such as Hanne Darboven, Donald Judd, and Sol LeWitt, with whom she shared an interest in seriality. However, her work is distinguished by its radically open-ended nature. Embracing reductive geometry, repetition, and industrial fabrication, she developed a form of mass-produced sculptural Minimalism that addressed the pressing socioeconomic concerns of the decade by circumventing the art market and rejecting established formal and cultural hierarchies. Posenenske employed playful conceptual devices to oppose compositional hierarchy and invite the collaborative engagement of the public in the continual reconfiguration of her variable sculptures. 

Following the major 2019 exhibition at Dia Beacon, Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress, this display consists of a number of works subsequently acquired by Dia, shown in an entirely new configuration. Spanning one of the largest galleries at Dia Beacon and shown in close proximity to collection-based displays of contemporaneous German artists Imi Knoebel and Franz Erhard Walther, this presentation expands the narrative of this period of art in Germany.

Franz Erhard Walther
Opening April 16, 2021, Long-Term View
Dia Beacon

Franz Erhard Walther is recognized for his five-decade-long investigation into the spatial, sensorial, and temporal dimensions of forms. Radical in his emphasis on process rather than product, his participatory sculptures are intrinsically linked to his parallel drawing practice. Reflecting the importance of the body in his sculptural work, the artist’s drawings also bring focus to the physical act of creation. Spanning 10 years of Walther’s early creative output between the years 1963 and 1973, this collection-based display at Dia Beacon brings together 58 of his working drawings that relate to 1. Werksatz (First Work Set, 1963–69). It was for the First Work Set that Walther first explored the use of simple physical actions—pressing, folding, unfolding, and covering surfaces with malleable materials—as a sculptural principle, reimagining the work of art as an experience of action.  

Lucy Raven
April 2021–January 2022
Dia Chelsea

The expanded and upgraded Dia Chelsea reopens in April 2021 with an exhibition of newly commissioned work by Lucy Raven. Following a four-year engagement with Dia, Raven presents the film Ready Mix (2021) and a new installation from her Casters series (2021). A roughly 50-minute, black-and-white film projected onto a room-sized curved screen, Ready Mix expands on Raven’s interest in the extraction of natural resources, changes of material states, manufacturing processes, and the American West’s historically violent entanglement with industrial and military development. In Dia Chelsea’s other gallery, visitors encounter two pairs of moving light sculptures from Raven’s Casters series. Drawing on the artist’s longstanding interest in the ways optical technologies are used to survey, measure, and control both land and people, this series of sculptures toggle between the disciplinary function of the searchlight and the spectacle of the spotlight. Together these two projects address the formation and depiction of landscapes and civic spaces, particularly of the Western United States, and simultaneously propose abstraction as a tool for (re)perceiving these spaces.

Imi Knoebel
Opening May 28, 2021, Long-Term View
Dia Beacon

Imi Knoebel’s work of the 1960s and 1970s grapples with questions of presentation and installation, as well as a preoccupation with form. Focused on eliciting an abstract, generic condition in art, Knoebel reduces his work to explorations of form, material, surface, and space. Rejecting the use of metaphor and allusion in art, Knoebel focuses on a pragmatic investigation of the formal properties and protocols of the exhibition space, as well as structures for the installation and viewing of his work. In turn, each installation of his work is responsive to its surroundings.

In the mid-1970s, Knoebel began working with abstract shapes layered with a type of paint typically used for industrial anticorrosion purposes. The ten-part series Mennigebilder (1976) features some of his earliest production in this vein, pairing abstract form and utilitarian use of lead pigment. Eschewing familiar geometric shapes and a sequential or formulaic approach to color, Knoebel instead chooses to use complex forms and specific-but-unconventional colors. Shown only once before in Cologne, West Germany, in 1981, the series then entered Dia’s collection in 1982 and has never before been exhibited in the United States. This presentation, in one of Dia Beacon’s large central galleries, follows important restoration work on the series and also includes additional work by the artist.

Maren Hassinger
June 2021–May 2022
Dia Bridgehampton

Continuing Dia’s engagement with artists who have lived and worked on Long Island, Maren Hassinger presents an exhibition at Dia Bridgehampton in summer 2021. For close to five decades, Hassinger, who lived in East Hampton and taught at Stony Brook University, Southampton, in the 1990s, has worked across drawing, installation, performance, sculpture, and video. Often making use of organic and mass-produced materials—including branches, plastic bags, twisted newspapers, and metal wire—Hassinger’s work engages with the natural environment and its intersections with issues relating to gender, identity, and race. Social engagement and creating a space for storytelling and shared experience is as much a part of the work as the formal manifestation. Alongside this display, Hassinger expands on her community gatherings and will engage the local region.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth
Part II , Launching Online Summer 2021
Artist Web Projects

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme’s May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth (2020– ) examines how individuals bear witness to experiences of violence, loss, displacement, and forced migration through performance. Since the early 2010s, Abbas and Abou-Rahme have collected online recordings of everyday people singing and dancing in communal spaces in Iraq, Palestine, and Syria. This work brings these recordings together with new performances conceived by the artists, a dancer, and a group of musicians in the cultural underground in Ramallah, Palestine. This evolving project, co-commissioned by Dia Art Foundation and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, will be presented as both an online project and physical exhibition. The first phase, subtitled Postscript: After everything is extracted, launched on December 10, 2020, as part of Dia’s Artist Web Projects, is accessible for free on Dia’s website. This digital platform expands in summer 2021 to include the artists’ full collection of recordings. A subsequent exhibition is slated to be presented at MoMA’s Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio.

Joan Jonas
Opening October 8, 2021, Long-Term View
Dia Beacon

This exhibition brings together three collection works by Joan Jonas, a founding figure of video and performance art of the 1960s and 1970s. Dia’s presentation in the lower-level galleries at Dia Beacon unites the large-scale multimedia installation The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things (2004), which was commissioned as a performance for Dia in 2005 and 2006, with two recently acquired works, Stage Sets and After Mirage (Cones/May Windows) (both 1976). Collectively, these three works present a compelling trajectory of Jonas’s oeuvre from the pivotal year of 1976, when Jonas decisively turned to translating nonlinear performance and video into performance installations, to the evolution of the artist’s work thirty years later 

Fred Sandback
Opening December 2021, Long-Term View
Dia Beacon

Using subtle methods and an economy of materials, Fred Sandback’s work creates striking perceptual effects in response to the surrounding architecture. Using store-bought spools of colored yarn, Sandback traced the space between different points on floors, ceilings, and walls, creating shapes and constructing the illusion of a pane of glass or shimmering lines of color. Previously on view since the opening of Dia Beacon in 2003, and following a pause of three years, a long-term installation of several of Sandback’s yarn works from Dia’s collection returns to the galleries in winter 2021.

About Dia’s Expansion and Revitalization
In 2018 Dia launched 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. The plan encompasses the restoration, renovation, and expansion of Dia’s two principal gallery spaces in Chelsea and Beacon; the reactivation of one of its original programming spaces in SoHo; the revitalization of two landmark installations by Walter De Maria, The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), which have been maintained by Dia since their first installation in the 1970s; and the development of Dia’s endowment, supporting operations across its national and international sites.

Designed by Architecture Research Office (ARO), the revitalized Dia Chelsea upgrades the visitor experience across Dia’s three buildings on West 22nd Street and creates a unified, 32,500-square-foot facility with 20,000 square feet of integrated, street-level exhibition and programming space. In September 2019, Dia announced free admission for its Dia Chelsea location upon the 2021 reopening, making all five of its New York City sites and locations freely accessible to the public. This admission policy will also extend to Dia SoHo when it opens.

Dia Art Foundation 
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 that the nonprofit has cultivated with artists whose work came to prominence particularly in the 1960s and 1970s.  

In addition to Dia Beacon, Dia Bridgehampton, and Dia Chelsea, Dia maintains and operates a constellation of commissions, long-term installations, and site-specific projects, notably focused on 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, inaugurated in 1982 and ongoing), all of which are located in New York City
  • De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico
  • Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in the Great Salt Lake, Utah
  • Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1973–76) in the Great Basin Desert, Utah
  • De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany

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For additional information or materials, contact:
Hannah Gompertz, Dia Art Foundation, hgompertz@diaart.org, +1 212 293 5598
Melissa Parsoff, Parsoff Communications, mparsoff@parsoff-communications.com, +1 516 445 5899 (US press inquiries)  
Sam Talbot, sam@sam-talbot.com, +44 (0) 772 5184 630 (international press inquiries)

 

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