Dia:Chelsea to Provide Artists with Time and Space to Explore and Develop New Commissions and Long-Term Installations

May 25, 2012

New York, NY–Dia Art Foundation today announced the institution’s impending return to the Chelsea neighborhood that it helped to pioneer, outlining plans to construct a new 22,000-square-foot project space on West 22nd Street. Comprising one of its former project sites (at 545 West 22nd Street), a newly acquired building (the former Alcamo Marble building at 541 West 22nd Street), and the ground floor of Dia’s existing six-story building (at 535 West 22nd Street), the new space will be designed by Roger Duffy, Design Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. It will serve as a center for new projects and programs in the heart of New York’s art world, and as a central lookout point for the constellation of sites and programs that embody Dia’s mission to advance, realize, and preserve the visions of extraordinary artists.

“We envision Dia:Chelsea as an active center for the presentation of art,” said Philippe Vergne, Director, Dia Art Foundation. “A place where a community of artists and audiences is brought together by long-term projects and commissions, lectures, readings, performances and renewed permanent installations in the full tradition of Dia. We are giving artists time and space to dream, create and realize projects that may not otherwise be possible, and giving audiences a place where they can thoughtfully visit and revisit an artist’s works and engage in dialogue over an extended period of time, the Dia time.”

Nathalie de Gunzburg, chairman of Dia Art Foundation, said, “Our Board of Trustees and good friends throughout the art community are thrilled for Dia to be moving forward with this plan, which is the centerpiece of Philippe’s and the Board’s compelling vision. There are more than 17½ million square feet of artists’ projects in the Dia constellation—and these 22,000 square feet in Chelsea will be where the most experimental artists and thinkers generate new insights that will run through all of them.”

Dia:Chelsea will function in the constellation as the primary site to engage with works of art and develop ideas and discourse. Operating at the center of the art world, it will build on the organization’s legacy of year-long single-artist projects, which allow artists across generations and disciplines to realize a new level of visibility or take their work in a new direction that often falls outside the parameters of traditional institutions. Dia:Beacon will function as the place where the institution preserves and expands the collection and advances scholarship—in essence, as a living manifestation of the support that Dia has given to artists over the years. The celebrated Dia sites throughout the country, ranging from the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, New York, to Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field in New Mexico, will be places where Dia continues to sustain, support, and conserve long-term settings of works of arts.

Dia:Chelsea is planned to include 15,670 square feet of gallery space and 3,625 square feet of occupiable rooftop space. Its unified masonry-and-glass façade along the north side of West 22nd Street will incorporate a one-story structure at what is now number 545, a three-story structure at 541, and the ground floor of the six-story building at number 535. Inside, these three existing brick buildings will be woven together to create three interconnected galleries on the ground floor. The second floor of number 541 will be a library and hybrid space, providing a multitude of programmatic uses, and the outdoor sculpture Rooftop Urban Park Project (1991) by Dan Graham, originally installed at Dia Center for the Arts in Chelsea, will be on the roof.

“I am delighted to collaborate with Dia to create a new project space in the heart of Chelsea that will distinguish itself through its diverse set of spaces dedicated the acts of creating and presenting art,” said Roger Duffy, Design Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Dia has selected Roger Duffy as the design architect for Dia:Chelsea because of his deep understanding of the role of art in architectural programs; his collaborations with noted artists such as Rita McBride, James Turrell, Lawrence Weiner, and Robert Whitman; and for his leadership, demonstrated in projects including the SOM Journal, an annual publication of the firm’s work, featuring critiques by an independent jury of artists, designers, and critics.

Dia’s History in Chelsea
Dia has strong roots in Chelsea, beginning in the 1970s, when it provided Robert Whitman with a building, now the Kitchen, to use as a studio and performance space. From 1986 to 2004, Dia Center for the Arts, which led the radical transformation of Chelsea from a declining warehouse district into an international destination for contemporary art, operated at 548 West 22nd Street. Dia’s Manhattan-based programs have been highly respected for their depth, influence, and innovation. Among the many artists who have realized projects at Dia in Chelsea are Robert Gober, Jenny Holzer, Pierre Huyghe, Robert Irwin, On Kawara, Jorge Pardo, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Jessica Stockholder, Diana Thater, Lawrence Weiner, and Robert Whitman. In more recent years, Dia’s commissioned artists have included Francis Alÿs, Tacita Dean, Zoe Leonard, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, and Koo Jeong A. Additionally, Dia maintains two long-term, site-specific installations in Chelsea—Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) (1988), and Dan Flavin’s untitled (1996). The new Dia:Chelsea returns the institution back to the heart of this neighborhood.

Dia Art Foundation
A nonprofit institution founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is renowned for initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects. Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, opened in May 2003 in Beacon, New York, on the banks of the Hudson River as the home for Dia’s distinguished collection of art from the 1960s to the present. Dia:Beacon, which occupies a former Nabisco printing factory, features major installations of works by a focused group of some of the most significant artists of the last half-century, as well as special exhibitions, new commissions, and diverse public and education programs. Dia:Chelsea is located on West 22nd Street in the heart of New York City’s gallery district, which the institution helped to pioneer. Currently open for artist lectures and readings, Dia is developing plans to expand its presence in Chelsea.

Dia also maintains long-term, site-specific projects. These include Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) (1988), and Dan Flavin’s untitled (1996), in Manhattan; The Dan Flavin Art Institute, in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria’s Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977), in Kassel, Germany; Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), in the Great Salt Lake, Utah; and De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977), in Quemado, New Mexico. For additional information: www.diaart.org.

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For additional information or materials contact:

Melissa Parsoff, Director of Communications, Dia Art Foundation
press@diaart.org / 212 293 5598

Sharon Ruebsteck, Arts & Communications Counselors
ruebstecks@ruderfinn.com / 212 715 1578

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518

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