Press Release

Dia Announces 2020 Exhibition Program across Its Eleven Sites and Reopens Dia Chelsea on September 17, 2020

New York, New York
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Highlights of the Upcoming Program Include:

• The reopening of the expanded and revitalized Dia Chelsea with a newly commissioned film and sculptural installation by the American artist Lucy Raven 

• A yearlong celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), encompassing a series of educational initiatives, the release of new photography of the site, a book on the artist, and a series of public programs in the fall

• A new sound installation by acclaimed techno DJ and producer Carl Craig, which transforms the lower level of Dia Beacon into a sonic environment

• Long-term exhibitions at Dia Beacon of newly acquired works by Joan Jonas and Keith Sonnier

• The first institutional survey in the United States in thirty years of the work of Mario Merz, a central figure in the Arte Povera movement

• An exhibition at Dia Bridgehampton of new work by Jill Magid, continuing her multimedia project on the Mexican architect Luis Barragán

• A new Artist Web Project by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, which delves into the artists’ collection of online recordings from Palestine, Iraq, and Syria

Dia announced today programmatic highlights for its 2020 season across its multiple sites, which include the fiftieth anniversary of Robert Smithson’s iconic Spiral Jetty (1970), four new exhibitions and commissions at Dia Beacon by Carl Craig, Joan Jonas, Mario Merz, and Keith Sonnier, an exhibition of new work at Dia Bridgehampton by Jill Magid, and the release of a new Artist Web Project by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme. Dia simultaneously announced that the newly expanded and renovated Dia Chelsea will reopen on September 19, 2020, with an exhibition by the American artist Lucy Raven, whose work explores historical and contemporary ideas about the formation and depiction of the American West through studies of force and materiality. A project with the Brazilian artist Renata Lucas, previously scheduled for September, will be realized in a future season.

“Our 2020 season exemplifies the myriad aspects of our program, across artistic genres—sound, performance, and sculpture—and including both new voices from different countries as well as established artists who have been central to Dia over the decades,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director. “The reopening of Dia Chelsea is among the highlights of our year, providing expanded gallery space and upgraded facilities that will be free to the public. Lucy Raven’s inaugural project in this space engages specifically with the American West—a region that Dia has had a profound relationship with through our stewardship of works of Land art. This connection feels even more resonant as we mark the fiftieth anniversary of Spiral Jetty this year.” 

The program of exhibitions at Dia Beacon begins in March with a major six-month-long sonic commission by renowned techno DJ and producer Carl Craig, which fills the cavernous 35,000-square-foot lower gallery. In May a long-term presentation of the work of the Arte Povera artist Mario Merz provides opportunities to explore installations from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. This is the artist’s first solo institutional presentation in the United States since 1989 and includes works that have recently entered Dia’s collection. Exhibitions of work by Keith Sonnier (opening in July) and Joan Jonas (opening in November) also spotlight Dia’s new acquisitions such as the room-sized Sonnier work Dis-Play II (1970), which was previously on view at Dia Bridgehampton, and two large-scale multimedia installations by Jonas from 1976, a definitive year in her practice. 

Alongside these new exhibitions, collection highlights on display at Dia Beacon this spring include a selection of works by Donald Judd, coinciding with the artist’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the reinstallation of Dan Flavin’s large-scale fluorescent work untitled (to you, Heiner, with affection and admiration) (1973).

For the annual exhibition at Dia Bridgehampton, a presentation of new work by Jill Magid opens in June and accompanies the ongoing long-term installation of Flavin’s work. The works by Magid, eleven screenprints from her series Homage CMYK (2019), are a continuation of her multimedia project on the Mexican architect Luis Barragán.

In September, Dia Chelsea reopens to the public following renovation with an exhibition of new work by Lucy Raven, who has been working with Dia for more than three years on several large-scale installations. An Arizona native, Raven often explores systems of labor systems and depictions of the American West, a region with strong ties to Dia’s history with Land art. Upon reopening, Dia Chelsea will offer free admission to its exhibitions, making all five of Dia’s locations in New York City free to all.

Inaugurated in 1995, Dia’s Artist Web Projects series is the longest-running program in the United States, commissioning 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. Their project for Dia, premiering online in September, brings together the artists’ archived collection of online recordings, which feature anonymous figures in Palestine, Iraq, and Syria performing folkloric song, music, and dance. 

Dia’s Detailed 2020 Exhibition Schedule

Robert Smithson’s Spiral JettyFiftieth AnniversaryGreat Salt Lake, Utah

Located at Rozel Point peninsula on the northeastern shore of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, Robert Smithson’s iconic artwork, Spiral Jetty, was constructed in April 1970. The coil, which measures 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide, winds counterclockwise off the shore and into the water or lakebed, depending on water levels, which have dramatically fluctuated over the past fifty years. The work has been under the stewardship of Dia since 1999, when it was donated by the artist Nancy Holt, Smithson’s wife, and the Estate of Robert Smithson. Throughout 2020 Dia celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Spiral Jetty, honoring the history and impact of the work and exploring the changing role of Land art. Programs include a series of educational initiatives that send young people to the site to complete research projects, the official release of new photography of the work (which was last documented over a decade ago), a book drawn from artists’ lectures on Smithson’s practice to be released in April 2020, and a robust public program to be announced.

Carl CraigMarch 6–September 7, 2020Dia Beacon

Acclaimed Detroit-based techno DJ and producer Carl Craig has been commissioned by Dia to create a sound installation in dialogue with the unique architecture of one of the largest galleries at Dia Beacon. Party/After-Party (2020) marks his first commission for an art institution and culminates a five-year-long engagement with Dia. This sound installation reimagines Dia Beacon’s lower level, creating a sonic environment that is anchored to the site’s manufacturing history as a former Nabisco packaging factory and recalling the techno tradition of reclaiming industrial spaces for radical experimentation. Deeply personal, the work accesses both the euphoria of the club environment and the loneliness that follows this collective experience. This new commission continues Dia’s long-term support for experimentation across media, as well as its commitment to fostering music and sound-based programming at the institution’s various sites. In conjunction with the commission, Dia hosts a robust schedule of public programs that include live performances by Craig and explore the continued relevance of techno.

Mario MerzOpening May 10, 2020, Long-Term ViewDia Beacon

Featuring Dia’s recent acquisitions and historical loans from collections in the United States and the Fondazione Merz in Turin, this long-term exhibition foregrounds key forms and motifs that animate the artist’s radical oeuvre. Mario Merz was a central figure in the Arte Povera movement, which emerged in Italy in the midst of an international wave of sociopolitical uprisings in the late 1960s. Formally related to Postminimalism in the United States and Mono-ha (school of things) in Japan, Arte Povera adopted an aesthetic that challenged the traditional values placed on art objects by dissolving sculpture into performance. Spanning the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s, the exhibition reveals key forms and motifs present throughout Merz’s conceptually rigorous and visionary practice such as his signature igloos and tables, distinctive use of neon, and deployment of the Fibonacci sequence—where each number equals the sum of the two that precede it—for the structure of his installations. 

Jill MagidJune 27, 2020–May 30, 2021Dia Bridgehampton

In summer 2020 a yearlong presentation of new work by the Conceptual artist Jill Magid opens at Dia Bridgehampton. For her exhibition, Magid presents eleven screenprints from the series Homage CMYK (2019), a continuation of her multimedia project on the Mexican architect Luis Barragán. Unlicensed copies of Josef Albers’s iconic series Homage to the Square (1950–75) hang in the library and living room of Barragán’s home, Casa Barragán. Published reproductions of Barragán’s Homages magnify the changing effects of natural and artificial light on the surfaces of the counterfeits. To make Homage CMYK, Magid has scanned the reproductions, manipulated the skewed works back into their intended square format, and printed them again to their original size—now embedded with the temporality of reproduction processes. The shimmering surfaces of Homage CMYK interrogate questions of authorship, influence, and how an object changes in relation to its context over time.

Keith SonnierOpening July 31, 2020, Long-Term ViewDia Beacon

This long-term display brings together a selection of newly acquired work from the late 1960s and early 1970s by Keith Sonnier, highlighting the artist’s experiments across media. During this period Sonnier pursued what he termed “psychologically loaded” industrial materials, referring to those with strong connotations to their non-art usages. The display features mainstays in Sonnier’s practice like cloth, flocking, latex, neon, and satin, which are also commonplace fragments found scattered about the home and the built environment. He combines these elements into uncanny objects and installations. Additionally, the presentation at Dia includes Dis-Play II (1970), a room-sized installation of foam rubber, fluorescent powder, strobe light, black light, neon, and glass, which was previously on view at Dia Bridgehampton from 2018 to 2019.  

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-RahmeLaunching September 2020Artist Web Projects

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme present a new online work as part of Dia’s long-standing series of Artist Web Projects, the longest-running program of its kind in the United States, commissioning artists to create original projects for the internet. May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth (2020) revolves around the artists’ archived collection of online recordings, which feature anonymous figures in Palestine, Iraq, and Syria performing folkloric song, music, and dance. This material has been transcribed and translated into both Arabic and English texts and is layered with original footage by the artists that captures performances by a younger generation of dancers and musicians from the region. Abbas and Abou-Rahme aim to assemble a body of knowledge in defiance of its continuous digital erasure. Dia’s past Artist Web Projects are available online. 

Lucy RavenSeptember 19, 2020–March 6, 2021Dia Chelsea

Dia Chelsea reopens in September 2020 with an exhibition of newly commissioned works by the American artist Lucy Raven. Following a three-year engagement with Dia, Raven presents a kinetic light sculpture occupying the entirety of the former Alcamo marble-cutting factory on West 22nd Street in New York City. In an adjacent gallery, she exhibits a film that was shot over two years at a concrete plant in Bellevue, Idaho. Together, these two projects explore properties of speed, pressure, and materiality (both geological and synthetic) in the context of the American West. An Arizona native herself, Raven often considers the complex histories of this region’s formation and depiction, as well as its contemporary role in global commerce, communication, and development. In doing so, her work engages the legacy of Land artists and Dia’s relationship with such artists since the early 1970s. Incorporating moving images, photography, sculpture, and sound, her immersive installations address issues of labor, technology, and the hidden mechanisms of power.

Joan JonasOpening November 6, 2020, Long-Term ViewDia 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 2005–06, 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.

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 2020 reopening, making all five of its New York City sites and locations freely accessible to the public. This admission policy will extend to Dia SoHo when it opens in fall 2022. 

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 sites 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

-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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Mario Merz, Tavola spirale (Spiral Table), 1982.© 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome, courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York

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