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Dia Foundation Expands Its Collection of Asian Art

Dia Art Foundation announced today that it has expanded its collection of Asian art with works by two artists—Lee Ufan and Kishio Suga. Previously, the only Asian artist represented in the collection was On Kawara.

The newly acquired works will introduce the materials and techniques of Mono-ha (School of Things)—a 1960s movement originating in Japan that emphasizes natural and man-made materials. Mono-ha artists’ interests align with the Arte Povera, Land art, and Minimalist movements, which form the foundation of Dia’s collection.

“Since arriving at Dia, I have had a strong desire to deepen the institution’s commitment to reflect a greater understanding of the seminal work that was being made internationally during the period that Dia has championed,” said Jessica Morgan, director of the Dia Art Foundation. “The addition of Lee Ufan and Kishio Suga to Dia’s collection was a natural progression for our foundation. Both artists were contributing to parallel conversations around Minimalism and post-Minimalism in the 1960s and 1970s, and are still developing their resonant and influential practices today.”

The three works by Lee that are entering the collection include one of his earliest Mono-ha sculptures, Relatum (formerly System), 1969, which is composed of six steel plates that are bent at ninety-degree angles. The other two are Relatum (formerly Language), 1971, which juxtaposes two diametrically opposite materials, pairing seven thick soft cushions with large boulders, and Relatum, 1974, a long wooden beam that hangs from the ceiling by a rope. These works will be presented at Dia:Beacon in spring 2018.

The five works by Suga include Diagonal Phase, 1969/2012, and Abandoned Situation, 1971, which represent Suga’s earliest Mono-ha works; Placement of Condition, 1973/2016; Separating Dependence, 1973/2013; and Perimeter, 1985. Diagonal Phase and Placement of Condition are currently on view in the exhibition “Kishio Suga” at Dia:Chelsea’s 541 West Twenty-Second Street location through July 29.