dieFirma Announces Inaugural Exhibition: “…for Gloria Kisch”

Visual Arts

dieFirma is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition “…for Gloria Kisch”, featuring the work of sculptor Gloria Kisch in a newly renovated exhibition space on Cooper Square. The show will center on two key series from Kisch’s 50- year career and will be the first presentation of her work since her death in 2014. The exhibition will open with a reception on October 13 and remain on view through January 5. dieFirma is a new exhibition and programming space in New York City, founded and driven by artists.

The Bells is a series of mobile-like sculptures of up to 12 feet that were completed in the early 2000s. The stainless-steel forms evoke religious totems, modernist sculptures, and the visual language of industrial manufacturing in equal measure. The relationship to the human body is evident in formal attributes as well as performative aspect of the sculptures; each work includes a sonic component.

With Flowers, Kisch rendered natural forms whimsically using colorfully painted steel. Most are designed to be mounted on the wall, appearing like paintings growing out towards the viewer. The series was last shown in 2007, when Kisch’s metal flowers were exhibited alongside Dale Chihuly’s glass flowers.

At the invitation of dieFirma, artists and makers have created new works inspired by, or in dialogue with, Kisch’s works. Kiva Motnyk, founder of Thompson Street Studios, has created a new series of textile works based on Kisch’s early paintings and collages, a series of original works inspired by Kisch’s palette, and small functional goods— coasters and shoulder bags. British painter Jane Gifford will contribute 54 watercolors, each one depicting a different work from Gloria’s oeuvre. Allison Halter has created a site-specific performance titled “The Bells, The Bells!” which will include a small chorus responding to the sonic component of Kisch’s sculptures on the three new moons of the exhibition (October 13, November 12, and December 12).

An 84-page, fully illustrated catalogue spanning the full breadth of Kisch’s career edited by Andrea Stern and Victor Sira will be published to coincide with the exhibition. A book signing will accompany the catalogue’s release on October 27.

Gloria Kisch was born in New York City in 1941. She was the daughter of German immigrants. After completing her first undergraduate degree at Sarah Lawrence College in 1963, she enrolled at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles where she studied alongside artists such as Bas Jan Ader and Barry Le Va. She went on to attain both a BFA and an MFA in 1969 from Otis and embarked on a series of hard-edge paintings that defined much of her output until she abandoned the medium entirely in 1971. Thereafter, her career was dedicated to sculpture, of varied scale and materials, primarily of a post-minimalist approach and aesthetic. Throughout the 1970s, Kisch was a part of the dynamic community of artists living and exhibiting together in Venice Beach that included historically essential artists like Judy Chicago, John Baldessari, Chris Burden and many others.

In 1981 Kisch moved to New York City and a decade later, she established a studio and metal shop in Flanders, Long Island. Her work continued to be shown in major group and solo exhibitions internationally, including at what is now MoMA PS1 (1980), the Milwaukee Art Museum (1981), the Queens Museum (1983), Art e Industrie (1989), Janus Gallery (1979), Womenspace (1973), and Cirrus Gallery (1975-1987).

In 1987, her public sculpture Big Apple Christmas Tree was installed at Robert Moses Plaza at Lincoln Center. Her work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art,

Denver Museum of Art, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, and others. Kisch and her work have been featured in numerous publications, including Artforum, ARTnews and Sculpture Magazine.

About dieFirma

dieFirma is an artist-driven enterprise that builds on traditions of fine art, design, and craft to create an integrated exhibition space and retail experience. dieFirma originates from the desire to create a deeper engagement between maker and viewer. Our robust programming includes immersive installations, retail opportunities, performances, gatherings, panel discussions, and a variety of maker workshops. We honor authenticity, integrity, and the handmade as we explore the many ways art touches our everyday lives.

dieFirma Programming during “…for Gloria Kisch”
Sunday, October 13 from 6-8pm: dieFirma’s grand opening featuring the works of Gloria Kisch and a choral performance by Allison Halter
Wednesday or Thursday, October 16 or 17 (Time TBC): Panel discussion: Art of the Women’s Building. Moderators and panelists to be announced at a later date
Sunday, October 19 from 10am-2:30pm: Intro to Screenprinting Workshop with Noelle Dillman in dieFirma’s Workroom
Sunday, October 27 from 11am-5pm: dieFirma Open House: A day-long series of events showcasing all aspects of dieFirma. The event will conclude with a dinner highlighting the food and drink of the North Fork and Riverhead area, commemorating Gloria Kisch’s homestead and community
Sunday, November 9 from 1pm-2pm: Choral workshop with Allison Halter in the gallery Tuesday, November 12 (Time TBC): The Kiva Motnyk/Thompson Street Studio opening with the second performance by Allison Halter
Wednesday, November 13 from 6pm-9pm: Organic Dyeing Techniques Workshop with Kiva Motnyk in dieFirma’s Workroom
Saturday, November 23(Time TBC): The retail opening in dieFirma’s Workroom
Saturday, December 7 from 11am-4pm: Bookbinding Workshop with Genevieve Fournier in dieFirma’s Workroom
Friday, December 13 from 5pm-8:30pm: Quiltmaking Workshop with Kiva Motnyk in dieFirma’s Workroom
**Every Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 3pm, a dieFirma team member will lead a walkthrough of the exhibition that is free and open to the public**

October 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020 | Opening Reception October 13, 6-8pm

Contact: Abby Addams