Gucci and Dia Art Foundation

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Gucci is proud to support Dia Art Foundation, a nonprofit institution founded in 1974 and internationally renowned for initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving important art projects from the late twentieth century.

As an iconic brand with an 89-year heritage, Gucci is dedicated to preserving significant historical artworks and artistic legacies, and presenting them for future audiences. As part of this mission, Gucci has supported the following Dia projects to date:

Restoration and Exhibition of Imi Knoebel’s 24 Colors−for Blinky, 1977
Conservation Easement Campaign for Walter de Maria’s The Lightning Field, 1977
Preservation of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, 1970
Presentation of traveling exhibition, Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977

Dia’s name was taken from the Greek word meaning “through,” and was chosen to suggest the institution’s role as a conduit – an enabler or facilitator – of extraordinary art projects whose visionary nature and scale at times exceed the limits normally available within the traditional museum or gallery. Its collection includes major site-specific, long-term projects in the western United States, New York City, and Bridgehampton, Long Island, and Dia also presents a permanent collection of artworks from the 1960s through the present at Dia:Beacon in New York’s Hudson Valley.
This museum houses works by a focused group of some of the most significant artists of the last half century, including Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Blinky Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, and Andy Warhol. In 2009, Dia announced plans to construct a new space in Chelsea that will be a center for its New York City programs, including commissioned artworks by contemporary artists, exhibitions, long-term installations, and performances.

Imi Knoebel, 24 Colors-for Blinky, 1977. Installation view at Dia:Beacon, Beacon, NY. Dia Art Foundation, New York. Photo: Bill Jacobson.


Restoration and Exhibition of Imi Knoebel’s 24 Colors–for Blinky, 1977

In 2007 Gucci provided the funds needed to fully restore and exhibit Imi Knoebel’s 24 Colors–for Blinky, a central work in Dia’s collection. This epic cycle of 21 paintings, which marks Knoebel’s first sustained engagement with color, comprises individual geometric wooden panels, none of which contains a right angle, and each of which is painted in a single, unmixed hue. The monumental series, which was acquired by Dia in the 1970s, was meticulously restored by the artist, who installed the work at Dia:Beacon in May 2008, marking its first ever exhibition in North America. 24 Colors−for Blinky was created by Knoebel in homage to his close friend, German artist Blinky Palermo, shortly after Palermo’s untimely death.

Imi Knoebel, 24 Colors-for Blinky, 1977. Installation view at Dia:Beacon, Beacon, NY. Dia Art Foundation, New York. Photo: Bill Jacobson.

 The opportunity to show 24 Colors−for Blinky at Dia:Beacon is particularly special because the piece hangs in galleries adjacent to those where Palermo’s own work is shown.

Conservation Easement Campaign for Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field, 1977

The Lightning Field, situated in a remote area of the high New Mexico desert, is internationally recognized as one of the late twentieth century’s most significant works of art. Comprising 400 stainless-steel poles set in a grid measuring one mile by one kilometer, the natural boundaries of the project are formed by distant mountains and far-off horizons. When speculative real-estate development threatened to encroach upon the area, Dia initiated a plan to prevent the subdivision of land within a 3-mile radius of The Lightning Field in order to maintain the natural isolation that is a critical aspect of the work.

Walter De Maria, The Lightning Field, 1977. Long-term installation in Quemado, New Mexico. Photo: John Cliett. © Dia Art Foundation

With support from Gucci, in 2008 Dia raised the funds necessary to purchase a conservation easement on approximately 6,000 acres of vulnerable ranch land that will help maintain the experience of The Lightning Field for future generations.

Preservation of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, 1970

Smithson’s iconic earthwork is located on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Using black basalt rocks and earth from the site, the artist created a coil 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide that stretches out into the translucent water. In early 2008, Dia learned of an application for exploratory oil drilling in the Lake approximately five miles from Spiral Jetty. This could have disrupted the artwork’s viewshed, upset the area’s isolated character, and threatened the physical integrity of Smithson’s sculpture.

Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970. Long-term installation in Rozel Point, Box Elder County, Utah. Photo: Gianfranco Gorgoni. Collection Dia Art Foundation.

In response, Dia commenced efforts to develop a buffer zone around Spiral Jetty that would protect the artwork and its natural surroundings. By providing a key grant, Gucci played a leading role in enabling Dia’s efforts to ensure the continuing experience of this internationally renowned artwork.

Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964–1977

Organized by Dia and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard), this exhibition is the first comprehensive American retrospective of the work of German artist Blinky Palermo (1943-1977). While Palermo’s reputation is well-established in Europe, his work is rarely seen in the United States. This retrospective will introduce American audiences to all phases of the artist’s highly influential career through a selection of approximately sixty works, many of which have never been shown in this country.

Blinky Palermo, To the People of New York City (Part IX), 1976-77. Installation at Dia:Beacon, Beacon, NY. Dia Art Foundation. Photo: Bill Jacobson.

Together, these will enable a fresh and in-depth examination of the evolution of Palermo’s aesthetic, illustrating the significance of his contributions to the field of post-war painting.

Gucci is proud to underwrite the national tour of Blinky Palermo:

Retrospective 1965–1977, which is curated by Lynne Cooke and will tour for one year:

October 2010–January 2011, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

February–May 2011, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC

June–October 2011, Dia:Beacon and CCS Bard Hessel Museum, in New York’s Hudson Valley

Blinky Palermo, To the People of New York City (Part XII), 1976-77. Installation at Dia:Beacon, Beacon, NY. Dia Art Foundation. Photo: Bill Jacobson.

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