Imi Knoebel

Imi Knoebel, 24 Colors—for Blinky, 1977

May 17, 2008 - March 24, 2014

<p>Imi Knoebel, <i>24 Colors—for Blinky</i>, 1977. Photo: Bill Jacobson.</p>

Imi Knoebel, 24 Colors—for Blinky, 1977. Photo: Bill Jacobson.


Knoebel’s cycle of 21 shaped paintings, 24 Colors—for Blinky, is presented for the first time in North America at Dia:Beacon. Acquired for Dia’s collection shortly after it was realized, this epic cycle marks the artist’s first sustained engagement with color in its manifold guises.


Press Release


21 shaped paintings on view for first time in North America

Apr 18, 2008

Beacon, NY— Dia Art Foundation is pleased to announce the presentation of Imi Knoebel’s 24 Colors—for Blinky (1977), at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, in New York’s Hudson Valley, opening May 17, 2008.* This epic cycle of 21 paintings marks Knoebel’s first sustained engagement with color in its manifold guises. Viewed by him as a gift from his close friend, German painter Blinky Palermo, color would become for Knoebel a primary agent in an ongoing exploration of the metaphysics of picture making. This presentation of 24 Colors—for Blinky will be the first time that the work—acquired for Dia’s collection shortly after it was realized—has been shown in North America.

Knoebel made 24 Colors—for Blinky shortly after the death of Palermo, whom he called “the master of color.” To create the monumental work, Knoebel constructed 24 individual panels from wood, none of them containing a right angle, and painted each with a single, unmixed hue, ranging from cadmium orange light and quinacridone crimson to phthalo turquoise green and Paynes grey. All but one of the elements of 24 Colors—for Blinky comprises a single-shaped painted wood element; the exception consists of three such panels superimposed on each other.

In this vibrant suite, Knoebel employed so many different colors that the work connotes the idea of color as a formal entity in and of itself, rather than as a signifying agent. As with key earlier works, the installation of 24 Colors—for Blinky can be variously configured both in terms of sequencing and in the number of elements on view. For the exhibition at Dia:Beacon, 24 Colors—for Blinky has been completely restored by the artist.

Concurrent with the installation of 24 Colors—for Blinky, Dia has invited American artist Helen Mirra to reinstall Knoebel’s work Room 19 (1968), on view at Dia:Beacon and also part of Dia’s collection. Made entirely of Masonite, this seventy-seven-part work is polymorphous, consisting of stretchers, planar elements, and stereometric and rectangular volumes that can be variously assembled depending on the context. In the past, and in concert with the artist’s conception, installation crews and others have on occasion installed this piece.

Funding The restoration and presentation of Imi Knoebel’s 24 Colors—for Blinky is made possible through the generous support of Gucci. As part of the company’s larger initiative to make possible the preservation of significant artworks, Gucci has made a multi-year commitment to Dia’s conservation initiatives.

Imi Knoebel
Imi Knoebel was born in Dessau, Germany, in 1940. From 1963 to 1971, he was a student of Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. His first exhibition, IMI + IMI, with Imi Giese, a fellow student of Beuys’s, was held in Copenhagen in 1968. Since that time, Knoebel has exhibited his works in Documentas 5 (1972), 6 (1977), 7 (1982), and 8 (1987), and at Sonsbeek (1971). In 1987 Knoebel oversaw an installation of his own work, as well as that of Beuys and Blinky Palermo, for the inaugural exhibitions at Dia’s galleries on West 22nd Street in New York City. In 1996–97, a retrospective of his work traveled throughout Europe, to such venues as Haus der Kunst, Munich; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Centre Julio González, Valencia. Knoebel lives and works in Düsseldorf.

Helen Mirra
Currently based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Helen Mirra was born in 1970 in Rochester, New York. Her solo exhibitions include presentations at Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe (2007); DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2006); Donald Young Gallery, Chicago (2005); Dallas Museum of Art (2004); University of California, Berkeley Art Museum (2003); and the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2001). She has been a resident artist in the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm (2005–2006), as well as in the Office of Contemporary Art Norway (2007), and will be in residence at Stiftung Larenz-Haus in Basel, Switzerland, in 2008—9.

Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries
Dia Art Foundation celebrates the fifth anniversary of Dia:Beacon in May 2008. The museum, which has welcomed 350,000 visitors since its opening, presents Dia’s distinguished collection of art from the 1960s to the present. Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, New York, the museum occupies a former Nabisco box-printing facility, which was renovated by Dia with artist Robert Irwin and architect OpenOffice. Dia:Beacon’s expansive galleries comprise 240,000 square feet of exhibition space illuminated by natural light. The museum houses works by a focused group of some of the most significant artists of the last half century, including Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Blinky Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.

The museum also presents temporary exhibitions, as well as public programs designed to complement the collection and exhibitions, including monthly gallery talks, Merce Cunningham Dance Company Events, music performances by St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Community Free Days for neighboring counties, and an education program that serves area students at all levels.

Dia:Beacon is easily reachable via Metro-North Railroad. Trains depart hourly from Grand Central Terminal in New York City, and the Hudson Line station in Beacon is within walking distance of the museum. For schedule and fare information, visit the MTA’s website at The museum is also reachable by major roadways. Driving directions are available on Dia’s website at Admission is $10 general, $7 for students and seniors, and free for Dia members and children under 12. Winter hours (though April 14, 2008) are Friday through Monday, 11am to 4pm. Summer hours (starting April 17, 2008) are Thursday through Monday, 11am to 6 pm. The public information line for the museum is 845.440.0100.

Dia Art Foundation
A nonprofit institution founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is internationally renowned for initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects. Dia presents public programs and its permanent collection of works from the 1960s through the present at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries. In the fall of 2007 Dia initiated a partnership with The Hispanic Society of America, where Dia presents commissions and projects by contemporary artists within the Society’s galleries while seeking a permanent home for these initiatives in New York City. Additionally, Dia Art Foundation maintains long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States, in New York City, and in Bridgehampton on Long Island. For additional public information, visit

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, or 212 293 5518

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