Dia Art Foundation Presents a New Commission by Rita McBride: Particulates Opens at Dia:Chelsea on October 17, 2017

October 16, 2017

Dia Art Foundation Presents a New Commission by Rita McBride:

Particulates Opens at Dia:Chelsea on October 17, 2017 

New York, NY – Dia Art Foundation presents a new commission by Rita McBride at Dia:Chelsea in New York from October 17, 2017, through June 2, 2018. The installation, titled Particulates (2017), uses high-intensity lasers to define a hyperbolic paraboloid and illuminate particles in the atmosphere that are otherwise invisible.

McBride’s new commission brings together her interests in the principles of light and space, time travel, and quantum physics. The arrangement of lasers offers a visual manifestation of the kind of theoretical wormholes described in science fiction as vehicles for time travel. However, the contours of this shape are dispersed by the constant motion of particulate matter found in the air, such as ambient dust and molecules of water, which become visible when passing through the beams of light. A new carbon-fiber sculpture, Guidance “Barriers” (2017), was conceived by the artist for this installation to separate viewers from the lasers.

“Rita McBride has always been a fearless champion of new materials. Her work has been in dialogue with the development of and ideas behind new technologies for fabrication and production. For this project, she utilizes a new medium to build on Dia’s history and collection by drawing on the reductive visual vocabulary of Minimalism and its concern for the relationship of object, viewer, and environment,” said Jessica Morgan, Director, Dia Art Foundation. “The luminescent laser beams reveal a macroscopic world of microscopic activity before our eyes.”

In 2015 McBride visited Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York, where she encountered Dan Flavin’s untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection) for the first time. Square units of green fluorescent light divide the gallery in this large-scale 1973 sculpture. Compelled by the duality of Flavin’s straightforward yet transcendent treatment of space, McBride conceived of Particulates as a site-specific installation. Her choice of green lasers and her inclusion of guiding structures improvise upon Flavin’s barrier. Using light to sculpt space marks a departure for the artist whose practice explores elements of architecture and sculptural forms.

Rita McBride
Rita McBride was born in Des Moines in 1960. She currently lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany, and Los Angeles. She received a BA from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. In 1988 she began to explore architectural and sculptural form in works ranging from small-scale objects to public commissions. Her major public commissions include Obelisk of Tutankhamun in Cologne, Germany (2017), Bells and Whistles at the New School in New York (2014), and Mae West in Munich, Germany (2011). Among recent solo exhibitions are Rita McBride: Explorer at Wiels Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2017–18), Rita McBride: Gesellschaft at kestnergesellschaft, Hanover, Germany, and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2015–16), and Rita McBride: Public Tilt at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2014–15). In 2001 she initiated a series of genre-bending publications that often use anonymous collective writing structures. The second volume of her Ways series, Futureways (2004), explored contemporary art and science fiction, a genre that is particularly relevant to Particulates. McBride’s first project with Dia Art Foundation took place in the form of a performative lecture on the work of Rosemarie Trockel as part of the Artists on Artists Lecture Series in 2003. Particulates was commissioned in 2016 by Dia and completed in 2017.

Dia Art Foundation 
Founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is committed to initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving extraordinary art projects. Dia:Beacon opened in May 2003 in Beacon, New York. Dia also maintains several long-term sites, including Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, which was inaugurated at Documenta 7 in 1982), all of which are located in New York City; the Dan Flavin Art Institute (established in 1983) in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico; Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in Great Salt Lake, Utah; and De Maria's The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany. 

Dia currently presents temporary exhibitions, performances, lectures, and readings on West 22nd Street in New York City. 

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

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