Diana Thater

Diana Thater

Diana Thater (born 1962, San Francisco) is an American artist, curator, writer, and educator. She has been a pioneering creator of film, video, and installation art since the early 1990s. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.[1]



Thater received her undergraduate degree from New York University in Art History and her MFA from Art Center College of Design.

Since her first solo show in 1991, she has exhibited widely throughout North America and Europe, with one-person exhibitions at Kunsthaus Graz in collaboration with London's Natural History Museum (2009), Dia Center for the Arts (2001), the Vienna Secession (2000), The Museum of Modern Art (1998),[2] the MAK Center for Art and Architecture Los Angeles (1998), the Walker Art Center (1997), the Kunsthalle Basel (1996), Salzburger Kunstverein (1996), The Renaissance Society (1995), and the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (1994), among many others. In March 2004 the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen and the Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany opened a simultaneous two-museum survey exhibition of her work from 1993 to 2003.

Her numerous group exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial (2006, 1997, 1995) and the Carnegie International (1999). She was the recipient of the Phelan Award in Film and Video in 2006 and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005),[3] an Étant-donnés Foundation Grant (1996), and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1993). Since 2000, Thater has been the artist-in-residence for The Dolphin Project, a non-profit organization that protects cetaceans from slaughter, captivity, and abuse. In 2009 Diana Thater taught art at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.[1]

Her work is held in many public collections including the Guggenheim,[4] the Tate,[5] the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles,[6] and the Walker Art Center.[7]

The artist is represented by David Zwirner, New York.


Thater’s work explores the temporal qualities of video and film while literally expanding it into space. She is best known for her site-specific installations in which she manipulates architectural space through forced interaction with projected images and tinted light, such as knots + surfaces (2001), and most recently in her exhibition of Delphine in the Kulturkirche St. Stephani (2009).

Thater’s primary interest lies in exploring the relationship between humans and the natural world and the distinctions between untouched and manipulated nature. Despite nods to structural film, Thater's underlying reference points are closer to panoramic landscape painting.[8] Thater’s stated belief is that film and video are not by definition narrative media, and that abstraction can, and does exist in representational moving images.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Diana Thater Faculty Page at European Graduate School (Biography, bibliography and video lectures)". European Graduate School. http://www.egs.edu/faculty/diana-thater/biography/. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  2. ^ moma.org
  3. ^ gf.org
  4. ^ Guggenheim Collection Selection (Late and Soon, Occident Trotting, 1993)
  5. ^ Tate acquires major gift of new media works with US museums. Tate press release. January 23, 2007. (Accessed Jan 3, 2008).
  6. ^ Permanent Collection. Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
  7. ^ Walker Art Center. Collections and Ressources
  8. ^ Liz Kotz in Zoya Kocur, Simon Leung, Theory in Contemporary Art Since 1985, Blackwell Publishing, 2005, p104. ISBN 0631228675
  9. ^ David Zwirner

External links

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