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New York's Museum of Modern Art Acquires Two Major Collections of Conceptual Art
Installation view, Alfred H. Barr Painting and Sculpture Galleries (June 2011). Left: Niele Toroni (Swiss, born 1937). Imprints of a No. 50 Brush Repeated at Regular Intervals of 30 cm. 1968. Synthetic polymer on coated fabric, 398 x 55 1/8” (1011 x 140 cm). © 2011 Niele Toroni; Right: James Lee Byars (American, 1932–1997). Dress for Five Persons. 1969. Fabric and hangers, dimensions variable. © 2011 Estate of James Lee Byars; Background: Marcel Broodthaers (Belgian, 1924–1976). Literary Paintings. English Series. 1972. Screenprint ink on primed canvas, 9 parts, each: 31 15/16 x 39 13/16 x 1 3/16” (81.2 x 101.1 x 3 cm). © 2011 Marcel Broodthaers / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SABAM, Brussels. All works The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Partial gift of the Daled Collection and partial purchase through the generosity of members of The Museum of Modern Art’s Board of Trustees.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art announces the acquisition of the Daled Collection, one of the key collections of American and European Conceptual art from the 1960s and 1970s. The collection includes 223 works across all mediums, assembled between 1966 and 1978 by the Brussels-based collectors Herman J. Daled and Nicole Daled-Verstraeten. The collection is particularly distinguished by unparalleled groupings of works by Marcel Broodthaers—a unique ensemble of some 60 works—as well as by Vito Acconci, Daniel Buren, James Lee Byars, Dan Graham, and Niele Toroni, among many others. As a counterpart to this tremendous collection, the Museum will also acquire the collectors’ archives, containing photographs, letters, notes, and additional materials relating to the works and also documenting the historical context in which the collection was formed.

The acquisition comprises a combination of Museum purchase and gifts from the collectors. The purchase was made possible by six of the Museum’s trustees.

A selection of more than 40 works from the Daled collection, including rooms devoted to Broodthaers and Buren and major works by Acconci, Byars, Graham, On Kawara, and Toroni, will be on view in the newly reinstalled Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Painting and Sculpture Galleries, which open on June 22.

“The Daled collection is among the most significant acquisitions in the Museum’s history and substantially enhances and transforms our holdings of art from the 1960s and 1970s, filling major gaps and also adding considerable depth in other areas of our collection,” said Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art. “We are deeply grateful to the generosity and commitment of Herman J. Daled and Nicole Daled-Verstraeten, the incredible support of the trustees who made this acquisition possible, and many of the Museum’s chief curators who worked together on this effort.”

”This acquisition will allow the Museum to represent the extraordinary achievements of some of the key figures of the late 1960s and 1970s, such as Marcel Broodthaers and Dan Graham,” added Christophe Cherix, The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Chief Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books. “We are thrilled to have found a way to keep this unique collection together as it will open up rich fields of study for future generations. It is by all accounts a critical addition to the Museum’s holdings.

The collection began with the Daleds’ purchase of Broodthaers’s Maria or Robe de Maria (Maria’s Dress) from 1966, a pivotal work, acquired the very day of its making, that consists of a stretched canvas on which the artist hung a ready-made dress holding a shopping bag covered with eggshells. The Daleds were later introduced to an extensive network of artists through their friendship with the Belgian artist, who played a key role in their collecting and their lives.

Maria is one of the five works that Herman J. Daled has given to the Museum as part of the acquisition; the other four gifts are: Daniel Buren’s 12-painting installation—one for each month of the year—made especially for the Daleds, Cotton striped cloth with vertical white and colored bands of 8.7 cm (+/- 0.3 cm) each. The two external white bands covered over with white acrylic paint recto-verso (1970); Dan Graham’s canonical Homes for America (1966-67); Sol LeWitt’s manuscript for his groundbreaking Sentences on Conceptual Art (1968); and Niele Toroni’s 70-sheet installation based on the imprints of his paintbrush, Imprints of a No. 50 Brush Repeated at Regular Intervals of 30 cm (1978).

The collection was shown together for the first time in the summer of 2010 at Haus der Kunst, Munich, in an exhibition curated by Patrizia Dander and Ulrich Wilmes, under the direction of Chris Dercon, former Director of Haus der Kunst, now Director of Tate Modern. Through the exhibition, the collection revealed enormous strength in the comprehensiveness of its groupings and the sharp and prescient vision of the collectors, who focused from the start on new strategies being developed by artists of their time.

Together with the recently acquired Art & Project/Depot VBVR Gift (2007), the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift (2009), and the Stichting Egress Foundation (2011), the Museum establishes itself as one of the preeminent centers of Conceptual art, a decisive movement of the 20th century.

The Museum of Modern Art has also acquired a major group of works from the collection of exhibition organizer, publisher, and dealer Seth Siegelaub, a key supporter of artists working in dematerialized art practices in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The collection includes 20 defining works of Conceptual art by Vito Acconci, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, On Kawara, Joseph Kosuth, Robert Smithson, and Lawrence Weiner, all of whom moved away from the traditional production of objects and chose instead to explore language, sound, time, movement, or mapping as their primary mediums. In addition, Seth Siegelaub and the Stichting Egress Foundation have donated to The Museum of Modern Art Archives Siegelaub’s own extensive archives, containing correspondence, photographs, notes, exhibition proposals, and many other significant documents that offer a tremendous resource to scholars of this period.

As part of the acquisition, Siegelaub has given the Museum four major works: Robert Barry’s 90mc Carrier Wave (FM), 1968, which transmits inaudible radio waves throughout a given space; Douglas Huebler’s Duration Piece No. 6 (1969), a series of photographs documenting the gradual dissemination of a rectangle made of sawdust on the floor of Siegelaub’s ―January 5–31, 1969‖ exhibition; Joseph Kosuth’s Titled (Art as Idea as Idea). The Word “Definitio,” (1966-1968), an early Photostat enlargement of a dictionary entry for the word ―definition;‖ and Lawrence Weiner’s A 36” x 36” Removal to the Lathing or Support Wall of a Plaster or Wallboard from the Wall (1968), a work which, according to the artist’s statement, can be fabricated or can simply exist as language. The remainder of the acquisition is a Museum purchase.

―This collection of works and archives has great historical importance, as many of the works were shown together in critical exhibitions of the late 1960s and early 1970s that radically challenged traditional notions of the art object,‖ said Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art. ―We are very grateful to Mr. Siegelaub and to the Stichting Egress Foundation for their generous donation of four works of art and the archives.‖

A selection of these works are reunited for the first time in the newly reinstalled Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Painting and Sculpture Galleries, which open on June 22. Highlights include an untitled work by Barry consisting of a nylon monofilament installed from floor to ceiling, from 1969; Huebler’s New York—Boston Exchange Shape (1968); Kosuth’s Titled (Art as Idea as Idea). The Word “Definition;” and Weiner’s A Wall Pitted by a Single Air Rifle Shot (1969).

Throughout his working life, beginning in 1964 when the then 23-year-old opened his first gallery, Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art, on 56th Street in Manhattan, Siegelaub has been dedicated to promoting the work of some of the most important figures of the 1960s, such as Barry, Huebler, Kosuth, and Weiner. After closing his gallery in 1966, Siegelaub independently organized 21 exhibitions and other projects in a variety of venues through 1971—both in physical spaces and, most significantly, in the form of books, in which he re-defined the exhibition catalogue itself as the exhibition. Like the work being made by the artists he championed, Siegelaub’s approach to this material raised important questions about the making, display, ownership, distribution, and selling of works of art. It also brought forward issues relating to the internationalization of the art world, the participation of the spectator, and artists’ right to control their own work, all of which still have tremendous resonance today. In relation to the latter, he initiated and drafted in 1971, in collaboration with lawyer Robert Projansky, The Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, which proposed a practical solution for artists to be able to maintain partial control over the use and resale of their work. In early 1972 Siegelaub left New York and the art world to live in Europe and pursue other projects

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