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Bavarian State Painting Collections announce long-term collaboration with the Dia Art Foundation
Dan Flavin, Untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection), 1973. Loan by the Dia Art Foundation since 2008, gift by Louise und Leonard Riggio, DIA SITE in the Pinakothek der Moderne since 2014. Background: ’monument’ for V. Tatlin VII, 1964. Aquired by PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne for the Pinakothek / Sammlung Moderne Kunst in 2002; Photo: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München © Estate of Dan Flavin/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014.
MUNICH.- The Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Bavarian State Painting Collections) announced a long-term collaboration with the Dia Art Foundation of New York . An important 1974 work by Dan Flavin, untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection), from the collection of the renowned American foundation will go on long-term view from 18 April 2014, in a 10-x-20-metre large room at the Pinakothek der Moderne. The long-term installation of the artwork means that the room within the Pinakothek der Moderne has become an official Dia Site.

Dia Art Foundation – Pinakothek der Moderne partnership
Untitled (to you Heiner with admiration and affection) is one of Flavin’s early ‘barrier’ pieces. The work was first shown at the Kunsthalle Köln ( Cologne ) in 1973. In 2005 Leonard Riggio acquired the piece from Flavin’s estate and presented it as an endowment to Dia. It was one of the key works that featured in the 2006 show ‘Dan Flavin – A Retrospective’ in Munich , which was jointly organized by the Dia Art Foundation, the National Gallery of Art (Washington), and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen. It has been on long-term view at the Pinakothek der Moderne ever since, where it merges perfectly with the surrounding space and the wider collection display. Driven by the desire to keep the work on long-term display in Munich, Philipp Vergne, Director of Dia from 2008 to 2014, and Corinna Thierolf, Chief Curator at the Pinakothek der Moderne, came up with the idea of creating a ‘Dia Site at the Pinakothek der Moderne’.

The Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen have spent the last twelve years building a core collection component featuring whole-room environments by American artists such as Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Fred Sandback, and Walter de Maria. It is striking that works by these internationally influential artists went on view in Munich very early on in their respective careers – in the sixties and seventies – with prominent works shown at Heiner Friedrich’s gallery. Friedrich went on to become one of the co-founders, in 1974, of New York ’s renowned Dia Art Foundation and was instrumental in raising the public profile of these works in America . Although during his Munich years as gallery owner, Heiner Friedrich only ever managed to sell relatively small-scale works by these American artists to the public collections, the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen now boasts eight environments by them. This distinctive highlight of the collection makes the Pinakothek der Moderne an ideal partner for the Dia Art Foundation in Europe .

The work
The work comprises four-foot-long (122 cm) fluorescent light fixtures that hold fluorescent tubes emitting green light. The modules are placed in a row at intervals of two feet, traversing as much of the available space as possible. The green light that radiates through the room is reminiscent in colour of Flavin’s first barrier piece, greens crossing greens (to Piet Mondrian who lacked green), from 1966. The choice of colour in that piece was both a clever allusion to Mondrian’s well-known aversion to green and also a statement that Flavin, who was working with light as opposed to paint. (Flavin used green as a primary colour in additive colour mixing, as opposed to the subtractive primary colours of cyan, magenta, and yellow, used by all other artists working with pigments.) The Pinakothek der Moderne is now showing Dan Flavin’s piece dedicated to Heiner Friedrich, the man who so closely followed his career, in a sequence of rooms featuring works by John Chamberlain and Fred Sandback and another Flavin piece, ‘monument’ for V. Tatlin, whose white light flows perfectly into the barrier’s green.

The Dia Art Foundation
Ever since its inception, the Dia Art Foundation has served to stimulate, support, exhibit, and preserve unusual art projects that, due to their scale, present challenges to conventional museum displays. As a result, the Dia Art Foundation now not only features Dia: Beacon in New York State but also several site-specific artworks in Manhattan, including Walter de Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977), The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’ sound installation Times Square (1977), Joseph Beuys’ 7000 Oaks (1988), and Dan Flavin’s untitled (1996). Outside of New York City , other Dia Sites have so far included the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton , New York , Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in the Great Salt Lake ( Utah ), Walter de Maria’s Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel as well as his Lightning Field (1977) in Quemado , New Mexico .

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