Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) presents the seventh and final performances in a series at Dia:Beacon entitled Beacon Events. In residency for the last two years, Merce Cunningham has previously choreographed six signature, site-specific Events within the vast galleries of Dia:Beacon. May’s Events will be held within one of the two parallel galleries devoted to Imi Knoebel's 24 Colors—for Blinky, 1977, a monumental work recently restored and on view for the first time in the US. The dancers will perform on three large rectangular stages evenly spaced along one of the galleries. As with previous Events, viewers will be invited to walk around the galleries to experience Cunningham’s performance from different vantage points. The performances will be accompanied by an original live score developed specifically for the Event, and will be the only times the musicians and dancers come together in this setting.
May 16 Beacon
Antoni Tàpies: The Resources of RhetoricDia and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, will inaugurate a series of institutional exchanges with a presentation of works by Antoni Tàpies at Dia:Beacon. Whereas Modernist painting was supposed to be anti-narrative, Tàpies sought the contrary: his narrative art exploits the resources of rhetoric. This exhibition invites a reconsideration of the contribution of this venerable Spanish artist by recontextualizing his work in relation to Dia’s collection of American and German art of the Sixties and Seventies.
May 18 Chelsea
Nancy Davenport on On Kawara
Nancy Davenport, who was born in 1965 in Vancouver, lives and works in New York. Her recent solo shows include exhibitions at DHC/Art Fondation pour l’art Contemporain, Montréal (2008); Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York (2008); and MIT List Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2004).
May 19 Chelsea
Latest in Dia's series of Artists' Projects for the web launches
Dia Art Foundation announces the launch of alphabeth, a web-based project by artist Dorit Margreiter, the latest in Dia's ongoing series of online artworks. The project can be seen beginning May 19 at www.diaart.org/margreiter.
An opening reception will be held at Dia on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, from 6pm to 8 pm on the fifth floor at 535 West 22nd Street, New York City.
In alphabeth, Margreiter presents two adjacent animations derived from her typeface "zentrum". The artist, who documents and redeploys the remnants of modernism before they disappear, designed the font in 2005 based on the modular components of a sign at Bruhlzentrum, a 1963 modernist housing project in Leipzip, Germany, which was slated for demolition. Reminiscent of Josef Albers' Kombinationsschrift (Combination Type), a stencil-based typeface he designed at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany, in the late 1920s, Margreiter's font is modular: components of each letter are presented in individual, consecutive frames. If her animations were sped up, they might become legible, but she slows them so they appear more like an abstract animation than a series of letters.
The left animation will consist of a loop of all the letters and symbols in her typographic system. The right animation will dynamically render the text from Dia's latest press release. Margreiter's channeling of public information through her modulated typeface defies the intelligibility demanded by the press release as a format by transforming it into something difficult-if not impossible-to understand. The piece relies on the tension between abstraction and information, a dichotomy that spans history from the font's Bauhaus roots to its encoding of press materials detailing future events.