June 20, 2022

1111 Projects: Diana Thater

1111 Projects: Diana Thater
on view at lobby entrance of 1111 S. Arroyo Parkway

ArtCenter Exhibitions announces the launch of 1111 Projects, an installation initiative featuring a rotating program of important works by ArtCenter College of Design alumni. The inaugural installation for the 1111 Projects is Natural History One (2019) by Los Angeles-based artist Diana Thater (MFA 90).

Now on view

Diana Thater has created pioneering work in film and video installation since the early 1990s. Her primary focus has been on the tension between the natural environment and mediated reality, and by extension, between the tamed and the wild. Drawing from diverse source material including literature, animal behavior, mathematics, chess, and sociology, Thater’s evocative abstract works interact with their surroundings to produce an intricate relationship between time and space. Thater is a core faculty member and former chair of ArtCenter’s graduate Art Department.

On view in the lobby of the 1111 building of ArtCenter’s South Campus, Natural History One (2019) is a vibrant, archival and incisive investigation of the natural world. It is the first in a series of works that Thater developed in the summer of 2019 from collected footage of California butterflies in the butterfly pavilion at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Natural History One comprises five screens arranged in a loose shape of a flower with two LED light fixtures interspersed between them, creating a flower form with the equipment.

Each work in the Natural History series features a different butterfly species along with wildflowers native to California. Originally shot on Super 8, the film has been transferred to digital video, retaining the saturated colors and graininess of the original analog format. Each screen presents a fragment of the video which, if combined, would present the complete image, asking the viewer to complete the work and read these discrete screens as a mediated image. An example of Thater's rigorous process is that she creates specific color combinations by timing the otherworldly colors of the LED light fixtures with the butterflies onscreen. Natural History One is especially relevant as the disjoint between humanity and nature becomes increasingly vast with the ongoing effects of the climate crisis.

Natural History One has been generously donated by Thater to a forthcoming auction, hosted by the Graduate Art department and David Zwirner, to benefit a Graduate Art MFA scholarship fund at ArtCenter.

Diana Thater was born in 1962 in San Francisco. She studied art history at New York University and ArtCenter College of Design, and lives and works in Los Angeles. Thater’s work is represented in numerous international collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship and the Artistic Innovation award from Los Angeles’ Center for Cultural Innovation. She has mounted major exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1997); the DIA Center for the Arts, New York (2001); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2018), and the Guggenheim, Bilbao (2019).

1111 Building Lobby
ArtCenter College of Design
1111 S Arroyo Parkway
Pasadena, CA 91105

Admission to 1111 Lobby is free and free parking is available at 1111 S Arroyo Parkway Pasadena, CA 91105. Advance reservations required. Please note that entry will be dependent on COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Please check with ArtCenter Exhibitions for further information.

About the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery: Located in the South Campus lobby of ArtCenter’s 1111 building, the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery serves as a welcoming point for students, faculty, staff and the public. Extending the reach of the College’s multifaceted Exhibitions department, this modestly-scaled space is optimized for high impact presentations of solo exhibitions and small group projects. Situated at a major gateway between Pasadena and North East Los Angeles, the space was designed to accommodate media in a wide variety, from intimately scaled works of art to automobiles, reflecting and intersecting with the multiple disciplines of ArtCenter’s curricula. The adjacent exterior courtyard provides opportunities for social and educational programs.

About ArtCenter Exhibitions: ArtCenter Exhibitions includes the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at the Hillside Campus in Pasadena above the Rose Bowl, the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery, the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography Gallery and the Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall at the South Campus a mile from Old Pasadena, and ArtCenter DTLA Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. These curated spaces embody ArtCenter's institutional will to understand artistic thinking and design strategies as levers in promoting social advancement, the pursuit of humanitarian innovation and use of critical inquiry to clarify objectives and truths. Using the lens of contemporary art and design, the mission of ArtCenter Exhibitions is to ignite emotional resonance, provoke intellectual dissonance and conjure unexpected pathways of thinking.

About ArtCenter: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and 10 graduate degrees in a wide variety of art and design disciplines. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves the general public through a highly regarded series of year-round online and on campus extension programs for all levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

Teri Bond
Director of Media Relations
ArtCenter College of Design
626 396-2385

Diana Thater work
Natural History One, a video installation by Diana Thater is on view at ArtCenter College of Design at 1111 S. Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, as the debut of 1111 Projects, a new rotating program of important works by ArtCenter alumni presented by ArtCenter Exhibitions. © ArtCenter College of Design/Ruben Diaz