Dia Tells the Hole Truth

by Ben Diamond Photographed by Zach Hilty and Benjamin Lozovsky/
Thursday, November 8, 2018

The stars of the art world gathered on Sunday for the Dia Foundation’s annual gala. Held at the foundation’s galleries in Chelsea and at a nearby event space, the evening was a tribute to boundary-pushing art new and old.

Dia casts a long shadow in the art world. It’s everywhere: in Beacon, New York, where it operates Dia: Beacon, an expansive museum of large, sight-specific contemporary art in a former Nabisco factory; in New York City, where it operates Dia: Chelsea, two well-regarded gallery spaces; and at additional sites around the world, from Bridgehampton to Utah to Kassel, Germany, where it maintains additional, iconic pieces of art. It also continues to provide financial support to other institutions, and still commissions new pieces.

The evening began with a late-night viewing of the two exhibitions currently on view at Dia: Chelsea, by Nancy Holt and Blinky Palermo. Holt, who was also the evening’s honoree, had the marquee installation, featuring under-exhibited pieces that captured her unique use of light, space and circular forms. They included Holes of Light, a wall, with circles cut into it, with light flowing through them, creating shadows—or perhaps, more accurately, anti-shadows—and Dual Locators, rusty pipes that looked onto circular mirrors and black spaces.

After that, guests made their way a few blocks north for cocktails and dinner. The evening’s guests were dressed, in typical art world form, in expensive-looking black, although you also saw the odd guest in jeans and a sweatshirt. It was the kind of hip crowd where you might hear people refer to their good friend “Phil Glass.” That mix, at once chic and cutting edge, yet also just a touch funereal, was no accident; Dia celebrates at once the finest artists of the 1960s and ’70s, whose era has passed—both Holt and Palermo are no longer alive—yet whose terrific visions are still unmatched and shockingly contemporary.

Over a delicious family-style dinner, guests heard more about Holt. As both the first and most prominent female land artist, she forged a path and a practice which still affects today. In fact, though the tribute to her was primarily in celebration of the Foundation’s recent acquisition of Sun Tunnels, her monumental 1970s work in Utah’s Great Basin Desert, it would have been just as easy to mistake it for an unusually grand celebration of and up-and-coming young artist.

Those from the foundation in attendance included Dia chairman Nathalie de Gunzburg and director Jessica Morgan as well as Dia trustees and their spouses Christopher M. Bass, Frances BowesSandra J. Brant, George Condo, George Economou, Carol T. Finley and John Finley, Jane and Roger Goodell, Jahanaz and Rehan Jaffer, Marsha and Jeffrey Perelman, Charlie Pohlad, Will Ryman, Lorna Simpson, and Hope Warschaw.

Also in attendance were Sara Albrecht, Josh Baer, Joa Baldinger and Heiner Friedrich, Julie Bernstein, Sandra J. Brant, Gabriel Catone, Lindsey Collins, Stuart Comer, Eric Diefenbach and James Keith Brown, Virginia Dwan, David Fox and Chris Stone, Andrea Glimcher, Trish Goff, Anthony Grant, Matthew Higgs, Caroline Hoffman, Lauren Hutton, Jessica Joffe, Lisa Le Feuvre, Patrick Li, Curt Marcus, Piper Marshall, Erin and Paul Pariser, Monique Péan and Stephen Glass, Marc Porter and Jim Hennessy, Rodman Primack, Loring Randolph, Andrew Ruth, Allan Schwartzman, Jamie Singer and Robert Soros, Francesca de Sola, Clarice Oliveira Tavares, Alice and Tom Tisch, Tom Tuttle, Anne-Gaelle and Christophe Van de Weghe, Diana WegeMatt Bangser, John Berggruen, Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, Paula Cooper and Jack Macrae, Chris D’Amelio, Peter Freeman, Barbara Gladstone, Carol Greene, Tina Kim and Jae Chung, Alexander Logsdail, Nicholas Logsdail, Celeste and Anthony Meier, Yuta Nakajima, Ales Ortuzar, Donald Ryan, Mary Sabbatino, Jacqueline Tran, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Jennifer Allora, Carl Andre, Tony Bechara, Mel Bochner, A. K. Burns, Tom Burr, Jung Hee Choi, Anne Collier, Ann Craven, N. Dash, Charles Gaines, Andrea Geyer, Liam Gillick, Hans Haacke, Camille Henrot, Jacqueline Humphries, Joan Jonas, Vincent Katz, Matt Keegan, Josh Kline, Michael Krebber, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Jill Magid, Nick Mauss, Josephine Meckseper, Adam McEwen, Sam Moyer, Ken Okiishi, Tony Oursler, Trevor Paglen, R. H. Quaytman, Dorothea Rockburne, Martha Rosler, Cordy Ryman, Ethan Ryman, Gedi Sibony, Amy Sillman, Pat Steir, Mika Tajima, George Trakas, James Welling and Terry Winters.



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