Dia Art Foundation have announced the addition of important works by Japanese artist Kishio Suga and Korea’s Lee Ufan to their collection.
With the work of key members of the Japanese Mono-ha movement of the 1960s, the acquisition introduces art from this period to the Foundation’s permanent collection.
Based in New York and founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is a nonprofit organisation that was established to initiate, support, present and preserve specific art projects. Dia presents exhibitions, installations, performances and lectures at its site in New York on West 22nd Street, as well as maintaining several long-term sites including Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) (1982).
Since it was established, the Foundation has grown its permanent collection, with artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Martin and Bruce Nauman. The collection holds a number of artists from the 1960s and 1970s, on view at Dia:Beacon, which opened in the Hudson Valley in 2003.
Since arriving at Dia, I have had a strong desire to deepen the institution’s commitment to reflect a greater understanding of the seminal work that was being made internationally during the period that Dia has championed. The addition of Lee Ufan and Kishio Suga to Dia’s collection was a natural progression for our foundation. Both artists were contributing to parallel conversations around Minimalism and Postminimalism in the 1960s and 1970s, and are still developing their resonant and influential practices today.
The pioneering Mono-ha movement, or the ‘School of Things’, focused on natural and manmade materials in a similar way to movements such as Arte Povera, Land art and Minimalism, already represented within Dia’s collection. The movement saw artists reject traditional forms of representation, instead bringing together unaltered ‘things’ and focusing on the material itself. The addition of these key figures of the Japanese movement will allow parallels to be drawn between these other historically connected yet distinct movements that also developed in the 1960s.
Korean artist Lee Ufan was one of the leading figures in Mono-ha, exploring the properties of different materials in his work. Three of his works will be joining the collection, including Relatum (formerly System, 1969) and Relatum (formerly Language, 1971). These pieces ask visitors to consider the presence and function of the materials; in the former work, Ufan believes “that the arrangement of steel can result in many different effects for viewers, defying the perception that steel is an inorganic or lifeless object”. Dia will present these works at Dia:Beacon in spring 2018.
Dia will also be acquiring five works by Japanese artist Kishio Suga that span his artistic practice. They explain how his installations “highlight both the internal qualities of a given substance (such as mass, structure, and weight) and the external forces acting on it (such as gravity, humidity, and time)”. Two of these works are currently on view at Dia:Chelsea until 29 July 2017 as part of an exhibition on the artist.
- Asia Week New York: 6 highlights of contemporary art – March 2017 – involving 50 exhibitions and give auction houses, Asia Week New York 2017 shines a spotlight on contemporary art
- Snap shots of precariousness: Mono-ha artist Kishio Suga’s “Situations” at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan – January 2017 – the Japanese artist’s research on the universe of things, time and space is on show at Pirelli HangarBicocca
- PROVOKE: Japanese photography between protest and performance 1960-1975 – in pictures – December 2016 – a touring exhibition looks at the work of postwar Japanese photographers and members of the historic Provoke magazine
- Lee Ufan-dedicated museum opens on Japanese island – The Japan Times – August 2010 – eponymous museum dedicated to the artist is opened in Japan
- Japanese-Korean artist Lee Ufan gets Guggenheim retrospective – review round-up – July 2011 – we look at what critics are saying about “Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity”, which opened in June 2011 at the Guggenheim in New York and is the artists’ first American retrospective
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