New Site-Specific Installation by Artist Maren Hassinger to Debut at Dia Bridgehampton

Opening June 25, 2021

Bridgehampton, NY, May 19, 2021 – Dia presents a yearlong installation by artist Maren Hassinger at Dia Bridgehampton, New York. Spanning five decades, the artist’s wide-ranging practice examines intersections between ecology, humanity, and identity. Hassinger, who lived in East Hampton and taught at Stony Brook Southampton on Long Island during the 1990s, has created a site-specific installation for Dia Bridgehampton. Opening June 25, 2021, the exhibition will remain on view through May 2022.

“This new installation by Maren Hassinger exemplifies her lifelong interest in the relationships between nature and people,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg director. “Her explorations of seriality, identity, and the landscape poignantly fold concerns of materiality into her singular vocabulary.”

Hassinger frequently uses repurposed industrial steel cable, which she unravels and then twists to create works such as upright, bush-like shapes that take on a human scale. Evoking the tensions of nature in their bristling and stoic forms, Hassinger’s wire sculptures, which have been integral formal and conceptual elements of the artist’s practice since the 1970s, provide the foundation for the installation at Dia Bridgehampton.

The installation on the first floor features a series of hanging fabric panels, each of which is printed with an image of one of the artist’s bush sculptures and sized to the exact measurements of the sole exposed window in the gallery. For this new work, Hassinger has chosen to use documentation of her outdoor installation Circle of Bushes, which was organized by Long Island University, C. W. Post Campus,  Brookville, New York, in 1991. Although the original installation consisted of five bush sculptures arranged in a circle, Hassinger has selected a photograph that gives focus to the details of a singular sculpture. The image has been printed on multiple, diaphanous fabric panels, which are suspended and organized in a grid. Facing the entrance to the gallery, the series of panels resembles a field or forest.

Installed on Dia Bridgehampton’s back lawn and visible through the gallery window is a new bush sculpture, Hassinger’s first such work in several years. The work is made of lengths of galvanized steel rope and arranged like a bundle of twigs. Though the form extends up and out of the earth, evoking and imitating organic growth, the unbound metal ropes point to both a loss of the natural and a concurrent undoing of the industrial. 

“The complementary components of the installation complicate Hassinger’s central probing of a disappearing landscape,” said curator Kelly Kivland. “The installation puts forth a poetic nostalgia for the past, a grounded awareness of the present, and an inquisitive interest in the future.”

The creation of a space for storytelling and shared experience is as much a part of Hassinger’s work as its formal manifestation. Alongside this display, the artist will expand on her practice of social engagement with the local community through issues of nature and identity. A series of live events will accompany the exhibition.

About Maren Hassinger
Maren Hassinger was born in Los Angeles in 1947. She graduated from Bennington College, Vermont, with a bachelor of arts in sculpture in 1969, and from University of California, Los Angeles, with a master of fine arts in fiber structure in 1973. While living in East Hampton in the 1990s, Hassinger was an active participant in the Long Island arts community. Her work appeared in numerous local exhibitions including Volume: 6 Contemporary Sculptors, Guild Hall, East Hampton, in 1992, and Sightings, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, in 1994. She also realized performances including A Day at the Beach for the Victor D’Amico Institute of Art, Amagansett, in 1995. She was a lecturer in the art department of Stony Brook Southampton from 1992 to 1997. Hassinger has completed solo presentations and projects at, among others, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; Baltimore Museum of Art; Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida; deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC. She recently retired after twenty years as the director of the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. Hassinger lives in New York.

About Dia Bridgehampton
Established by Dia Art Foundation in 1983, Dia Bridgehampton is a renovated firehouse that holds the Dan Flavin Art Institute, a permanent installation of nine works in fluorescent light by Dan Flavin, as well as a gallery for yearly exhibitions of artists living or working on Long Island. Planned by Flavin for the second-floor gallery of the space, the permanent installation traces the artist’s practice from 1963, when he began working solely with fluorescent fixtures and tubes, to 1981, just before the presentation was realized. In creating this installation, Flavin conceived of the architecture and sculptures as a single, unified ensemble. By manipulating the formal, phenomenal, and referential characteristics of light, the installation asks viewers to consider a series of contrasts—between colors and intensities of light, structure and formlessness, the obvious and mysterious, and the serious and humorous.

Dia Bridgehampton is located at 23 Corwith Avenue in Bridgehampton, New York.

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 ’70s. 

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
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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