Yearlong Exhibition of Work by Liliana Porter at Dia Bridgehampton - 27 East

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Yearlong Exhibition of Work by Liliana Porter at Dia Bridgehampton

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Pioneering artist Liliana Porter. COURTESY THE ARTIST

Pioneering artist Liliana Porter. COURTESY THE ARTIST

authorStaff Writer on Jun 21, 2024

Dia Bridgehampton presents “Liliana Porter: The Task” opening June 21, and on view through May 26, 2025. The exhibition comprises a new commission alongside a selection of works from the 1970s and video documentation of a recent play by Porter and collaborator Ana Tiscornia.

A prominent figure in the early Conceptual and feminist art movements, Porter contests the spaces between reality and fiction across a variety of media. Central to her long-standing research is the subject of time — which she perceives as nonlinear and dislocated and is manifested in the artist’s early prints and photographic works, later images and installations incorporating found objects and collected figurines, and, most recently, her films and plays.

“As we continue to celebrate Dia’s 50th anniversary in 2024, it is exciting to show Liliana Porter’s work at Dia Bridgehampton, and to work with her on this new commission. With wry humor, Porter’s multifaceted practice uses simple gestures and whimsical arrays of miniature figurines to collapse time and invite a deep meditation on the human experience,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director.

For Dia Bridgehampton, Porter presents a new iteration of the series she refers to as Forced Labor in which she creates “situations” using figurines and assorted objects, employing differences in scale to stage absurd scenes against blank backgrounds. Commissioned by Dia, “The Task” (2024) is a sprawling landscape of “situations” set across three wood plinths, converging characters from various realities and time periods. Porter also incorporates into her installation decommissioned Dan Flavin lightbulbs and a thread of tulle the color of one of his signature fluorescent-light works in a nod to his permanent installation on Dia Bridgehampton’s second floor.

Accompanying the new commission are photographic and print works, a selection from the black-and-white series featuring geometric shapes, which Porter started in the 1970s and explore nonlinear ideas of time and the conflicting notions of reality and representation. Screened in a room adjoining the gallery space, Porter’s theatrical work “THEM” (2018), which debuted at the Kitchen in New York, includes 15 short vignettes and extends the artist’s long-term interest in disjointed narratives and open-ended meaning. Furthermore, by exhibiting art in a nonchronological fashion, the artist blurs the boundaries between her new and later works.

“Liliana Porter’s work has long used the language of Minimalism and conceptual art to address the absurdities and contradictions of social roles and common assumptions about how time is experienced or images are absorbed,” said Humberto Moro, deputy director of program and curator of the exhibition. “The presentation at Dia Bridgehampton continues her interest in overlapping art from different moments in her career, at the same time that the works themselves play with those temporalities. As we continue to expand our institutional cannons, it is fascinating to see Porter’s art in direct, generative conversation with that of Dan Flavin and the site he designed.”

Dia’s permanent installation of Flavin’s nine sculptures in fluorescent light (1963 - 81) is also on view on the second floor. The Bridgehampton exhibition is complemented by a presentation of Porter’s recent video works — “Matinee” (2009), “Actualidades/Breaking News” (2016) and “Cuentos Inconclusos – Unfinished Tales” (2022) — in Dia Chelsea’s talk space from June 21 to July 22, 2024.

Liliana Porter was born in Buenos Aires in 1941. She studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires and Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Originally trained in printmaking, her practice spans painting, drawing, photography, assemblage, video, installation, public art, and, more recently, theater, the latter often developed in collaboration with artist Ana Tiscornia. In 1964, Porter moved to New York where she co-founded the New York Graphic Workshop with artists Luis Camnitzer and José Guillermo Castillo. In the city, her work was first shown in institutions such as the Jewish Museum in 1964; Pratt Graphic Art Center in 1967; and the Museum of Modern Art in 1973.

Between 1991 and 2007, Porter was a professor at Queens College, City University of New York. In 2017, her work was included in the 57th Venice Biennale: “Viva Arte Viva” and in “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960 - 1985,” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, which traveled in 2018 to the Brooklyn Museum and the Pinacoteca, São Paulo. Recent surveys of her work have been presented at Artium Museoa, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del País Vasco, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2017); Savannah College of Art and Design (2017 - 18) and traveling to El Museo del Barrio, New York (2018 - 19); and Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France (2023). Porter lives in Rhinebeck, New York.

Dia Bridgehampton is at 23 Corwith Avenue. Visit diaart.org for information.

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