Monumental work is gift of Riggio family

Nov 26, 1997

Richard Serra: Torqued Ellipses

Dia Center for the Arts announced the acquisition of Richard Serra's group of three "Torqued Ellipses." This represents the first major addition to Dia's collection since 1984. This landmark acquisition was made possible through a generous gift by Leonard Riggio, CEO of Barnes & Noble, Inc., who is also an avid collector of modern and contemporary art, particularly sculpture.

According to Director of Dia Center for the Arts, Michael Govan, "This is an historic occasion for us, and it symbolizes Dia's revitalized interest in collecting unique and significant works by leading figures of the 1960s and 70s. Leonard Riggio's generous gift, one of the largest single contributions to Dia since Menil family patronage ended in the early 1980s, has enabled us to add to our holdings works by Richard Serra, one of this century's most important artists."

Richard Serra's "Torqued Ellipses" is the result of four years of research, and marks a new departure in the artist's oeuvre. This new series, for which he created over twenty models resulting in four works realized to date, involves bending steel in a totally unprecedented manner. The result has been recognized as yet another breakthrough for Mr. Serra.

The Dia collection is presently comprised of extensive holdings by twelve prominent artists including Joseph Beuys, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Blinky Palermo, Fred Sandback, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. Taken together it is one of the foremost public collections of art of the 1960s and 1970s in the world. Dia also maintains several major long-term installations: Walter De Maria's Lighting Field in New Mexico, and The Broken Kilometer and New York Earth Room in New York; as well as The Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, Long Island. Some of Dia's artworks became founding collections for The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, and the Cy Twombly Gallery, Houston.

Since 1987, Dia's facility on West 22nd Street in Chelsea has presented a program of yearlong exhibitions of work by these and other contemporary artists, as well as lectures, symposia, poetry readings, and performances. "Torqued Ellipses" will remain on view at Dia Center for the Arts through June 14, 1998. Located at 545 West 22nd Street, just across from Dia's main facility, this 5,000 square-foot building was renovated by architect Richard Gluckman. Opening hours for the Serra exhibition are Thursday through Sunday, 12:00 noon to sunset. A catalogue is available at the Dia bookstore.

In the fall of 1998, "Torqued Ellipses" will travel to Los Angeles where they will be exhibited at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as part of a large retrospective of works by Richard Serra.

Dia Center for the Arts is a tax-exempt charitable organization. Established in 1974, the organization has become one of the largest in the United States dedicated to contemporary art and contemporary culture. For more information about Dia Center for the Arts, please visit our website at www.diacenter.org.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518

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