Following the 2018 presentation of Dorothea Rockburne’s large-scale works from the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dia has reopened the expanded exhibition with two new galleries added, focusing on works produced in the early 1970s through the early 1980s.
The first gallery features an interactive carbon paper installation by Rockburne, dating from 1973. The artist began to use carbon paper as one of her materials in the early 1970s, creating large wall installations by folding, pressing, and scoring a sheet of carbon paper against the wall and subsequently allowing marks to durationally “make themselves” as pigment was disturbed and transferred to other surfaces. As visitors move through the gallery at Dia:Beacon, they unconsciously engage with the works by creating micro drafts of air that dislodge particles in the wall drawings. Over time, as these transfers take place, the room becomes a visual log of the activity within it and the time that has passed.
Rockburne became preoccupied with the Golden Section or “divine proportion” as she pursued a new artistic language born from her understanding of the presence of geometry in nature as well as human-made surroundings. The second gallery presents works from Rockburne’s Golden Section paintings of the 1970s, constructed from linen coated in gesso and varnish, which were then cut and folded based on the mathematical ratio. Also on view are five of Rockburne’s Egyptian Paintings, a monochromatic series developed in the late 1970s, which employed new materials to explore these ideas and incorporated her interest in the art of ancient Egypt.
Dorothea Rockburne is made possible by significant support from COS and Someland Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Beth Rudin DeWoody, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation; Kathy Fuld; Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency; and Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Inc.
Dorothea Rockburne was born in Montréal in 1932. She lives and works in New York City.