Skip to content Skip to footer links

Yearlong Exhibition of New Work by Tony Cokes Opens at Dia Bridgehampton This June

Bridgehampton, NY, May 10, 2023 – Dia announces a new commission by Tony Cokes at Dia Bridgehampton. The exhibition opens June 23, 2023, and will be on view through May 2024. The commission comprises a site-responsive, two-channel video installation presented within the ground-floor galleries. An activation of the Shinnecock Monument electronic billboards extends the work outdoors, beyond the gallery space.

Since the late 1980s, Cokes has appropriated and remixed text, music, and documentary images into videos and installations that investigate the interrelations of politics, popular culture, race, and identity. These pared down yet highly affective videos typically include a variety of recontextualized excerpts of writings—culled from theory, philosophy, journalism, politics, and social media—that unfold against monochromatic color backdrops, set to soundtracks of popular music. 

“Cokes has a history of powerfully integrating his work into institutions and the built environment while deploying formal and conceptual strategies key to Dia’s legacy. Dia’s collaboration with Cokes, the first non-local artist to present work at Dia Bridgehampton in recent years, offers a unique opportunity for meaningful engagement with the rich and layered histories of the site while also prompting new, critical perspectives on Dan Flavin’s work, which is on permanent display,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director.

Cokes presents new work in dialogue with the material histories of the site of Dia Bridgehampton, a former firehouse–turned–First Baptist Church. The context-specific audio-video installation on the first floor responds to the permanent Dan Flavin installation on the second floor, which resonates with Cokes’s own conceptual and formal interests in radiant, monochromatic color and light. The colors comprising the artist’s two-channel video are influenced by Flavin’s palette and overlaid with texts from Dia’s archive and publications that cite the history, transition, and development of the site, as well as scholarship on Flavin.

The moving images are projected in opposite corners of the gallery and animate its unique interior architecture. Defying museum conventions of the “black box,” in which video works are shown in darkened environments, the installation embraces natural light while also using Flavin-inspired color filters to flood the space with immersive colored light.

Drawing from the sonic history of the site, a soundtrack engages the spirits of Black culture and church music that inhabit the space, sampling contemporary tracks from the Black diaspora that fuse soul, blues, gospel, and electronic music to cultivate, in the artist’s words, a feeling of “Flavin, fire, and gospel.”

“Engaging the politics of color and applying a contemporary social filter to the monochrome, Cokes’s project shines urgent light on Dia’s history and the legacy of Dan Flavin. Putting color and text into motion via digital technologies, the work also brings new media—and political relevance—to Dia Bridgehampton,” said curator Jordan Carter.

While conceptually tethered to Dia Bridgehampton itself, the commission also takes on an expanded presence offsite, punctuating advertisements on the two 61-foot-tall Shinnecock Monument electronic billboards, located along Sunrise Highway (also known as Highway 27). The billboards are operated by the Shinnecock Indian Nation and welcome many visitors arriving by car to Dia Bridgehampton. This offsite component will be on view from June 23 through July 30, 2023, and at other points throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Dia’s permanent installation nine sculptures in fluorescent light, created by Dan Flavin between 1963 and 1981, will also be on view on the second floor of Dia Bridgehampton.   

Tony Cokes is organized by Jordan Carter, curator at Dia Art Foundation, with Emily Markert, curatorial assistant.

All exhibitions at Dia are made possible by the Economou Exhibition Fund.

Tony Cokes at Dia Bridgehampton is made possible by James L. Cahn and Jeremiah J. Collatz and the David Schwartz Foundation, Inc.

About Tony Cokes

Tony Cokes was born in 1956 in Richmond, Virginia. He received a BA from Goddard College, Vermont, and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. Cokes participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. In 2022, he was the subject of a major survey jointly organized by the Haus der Kunst and Kunstverein, both in Munich. Other recent solo exhibitions took place at De Balie, Amsterdam (2022); MACRO — Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma (2021); and Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, New York (2021). His work is in the collections of, among others, the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Recent group exhibitions include Signals: How Video Transformed the World (2023) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the 58th Carnegie International: Is it morning for you yet? (2022–23) at Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. He is the recipient of the 2023 Rome Prize. Cokes is a professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, Rhode Island, and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

About Dia Bridgehampton 
Established by Dia Art Foundation in 1983, Dia Bridgehampton was designed by Dan Flavin to permanently house an installation of his work alongside a program of temporary exhibitions. With Dia’s support, Flavin renovated this turn-of-the-century Shingle-style firehouse, then church, converting its vestibule and second floor into a permanent display of his signature works in fluorescent light. A resident of nearby Wainscott, Flavin envisioned that the first floor would be both a venue for changing exhibitions and a print shop. Today, Dia continues to maintain Flavin’s permanent installation of nine works in fluorescent light, as well as the Dan Flavin Art Institute, and to present, in the first-floor gallery, yearly exhibitions by artists primarily residing or working on Long Island. 

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

About 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 long-standing 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 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 


For additional information or materials, contact: 
(U.S. press inquiries)

Hannah Gompertz, Dia Art Foundation,, +1 212 293 5598
Melissa Parsoff, Parsoff Communications,, +1 516 445 5899

(International press inquiries)
Sam Talbot,, +44 (0) 772 5184 630

Get Dia News

Receive Dia News and be the first to hear about events and exhibitions happening at our locations and sites.