Kelly Kivland and Alexis Lowry Named Curators at Dia Art Foundation

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2019

Kelly Kivland and Alexis Lowry Named Curators at Dia Art Foundation

New York – May 16, 2019 – Dia Art Foundation announced today that Kelly Kivland and Alexis Lowry have both been promoted to the position of Curator. Previously Dia’s Associate Curators, Kivland and Lowry have played key roles over the past few years in the organization of some of Dia’s most celebrated commissions, exhibitions, and performances, including the current Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress exhibition at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York, which was cocurated by Lowry, and the recent Nancy Holt exhibition at Dia:Chelsea in New York City, which was curated by Kivland.

In their expanded curatorial roles, Kivland and Lowry will be instrumental in the conception and realization of collection presentations, exhibitions, and public programs across Dia’s various locations. They will also be closely involved in Dia’s acquisition program and the institution’s development of publications and exhibition catalogues. Kivland and Lowry have both spearheaded major contemporary commissions at Dia and will remain engaged with contemporary artists on large-scale projects that bring new perspectives to the foundation’s focus on Minimal, Postminimal, and Conceptual art. Kivland will continue to oversee the stewardship of Dia’s iconic works of Land art in Utah—Spiral Jetty (1970) by Robert Smithson and Sun Tunnels (1973–76) by Nancy Holt. Lowry will remain closely involved with the permanent installations that Dia maintains in western New Mexico and New York City, including Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field and Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (both 1977).

“Kelly Kivland and Alexis Lowry have both been an integral part of Dia’s curatorial team for many years and have consistently demonstrated remarkable passion and vision, as well as dedication to the artists that they have worked with over their respective careers. I am thrilled that they will be assuming these vital roles at such a crucial time in Dia’s history,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director. “The next five years will see important upgrades take place at our New York facilities, including the expansion of Dia:Chelsea, the launch of Dia:SoHo, and the restoration and expansion of the lower level and exterior landscape of Dia:Beacon. I look forward to seeing how Kivland and Lowry will work within these enhanced spaces, continue to engage with artists who were active in the 1960s and 1970s and who form the core of Dia’s collection, as well as explore the legacy of these artists through our contemporary commissioning program. 

“With more than eight years at Dia, I am excited to take this next step at the institution. I believe that Dia holds a unique place in the ecology of the art world with its core mission of experimentation and focus on durational projects. The ability to foster deep relationships with artists and to allow their ideas to develop outside of the limits of a traditional museum or gallery space is a rare and generous mode of working,” said Kivland. 

“Dia’s continued commitment to helping artists realize visionary and transgressive projects over the past 45 years is unparalleled. I am delighted to be taking on these new responsibilities and I look forward to working with my wonderful colleagues at all of Dia’s sites to develop new programs, expand the collection, generate scholarship about our important holdings, and provide long-term support for our permanent sites,” said Lowry.                

Kelly Kivland has worked at Dia Art Foundation since 2011 and was appointed Associate Curator in 2015. In this role, she has curated numerous exhibitions including a 2018–19 presentation of Nancy Holt’s work at Dia:Chelsea in New York City, and a 2015–18 presentation of Robert Irwin’s Excursus: Homage to the Square3 at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York. Previously, as Assistant Curator, she helped organize Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument in New York City in 2013 and the two-part Jean-Luc Moulène: Opus + One exhibition in Beacon and Bridgehampton, New York, in 2011–12. Furthering Dia’s live program at its various sites, Kivland has developed performances and special projects that include: THAT’S IT! (2018) by Joëlle Tuerlinckx in 2018; a series of performances by François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea in 2017; occasions and other occurrences hosted by Isabel Lewis in 2016; a selection of works by Steve Paxton in 2014; Night Stand by Lisa Nelson and Steve Paxton in 2013; and the Yvonne Rainer retrospective in 2011–12. She has played an instrumental role in overseeing the stewardship of Dia’s Land art in Utah, working with local partners to advocate for Spiral Jetty (1970) by Robert Smithson and Sun Tunnels (1973–76) by Nancy Holt. She also curates the ongoing Artists on Artists Lecture Series at Dia, and has commissioned Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Laylah Ali, Daniel Lefcourt, and Nick Mauss and Ken Okiishi to participate in Dia’s Artist Web Projects. Kivland holds a master’s degree from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

Alexis Lowry joined Dia Art Foundation as Associate Curator in 2015. This year at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York, she has cocurated the retrospective Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress with Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director, and organized the newly opened installation of Lee Ufan’s early sculptural work. She has played an important role in Dia’s acquisition strategy and has been involved with major accessions of work by Mary Corse, Robert Morris, Michelle Stuart, and Anne Truitt, and overseen collection displays of each of these artists at Dia:Beacon. Lowry has organized commissions and exhibitions at Dia:Chelsea in New York City, such as Rita McBride’s Particulates (2017–18) and Kishio Suga (2016–17). Lowry is responsible for the DiaTalks series, which encompass gallery talks, lectures, symposia, and other conversations across Dia’s various sites. She works closely on the preservation of and programming around Dia’s permanent installations, including Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico, as well as De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979) and Max Neuhaus’s Times Square  in New York City (1977). Prior to joining Dia she was curator of the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She has recently contributed to publications for the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and the Drawing Center (forthcoming) and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Lowry is completing her PhD dissertation on Michael Heizer at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Dia Art Foundation
Taking its name from the Greek word meaning “through,” Dia was established in 1974 with the mission to serve as a conduit for artists to realize ambitious new projects, unmediated by overt interpretation and uncurbed by the limitations of more traditional museums and galleries. Dia’s programming fosters contemplative and sustained consideration of a single artist’s body of work and its collection is distinguished by the deep and longstanding relationships that the nonprofit has cultivated with artists whose work came to prominence particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. 

In addition to Dia:Beacon and Dia:Chelsea, Dia maintains and operates a constellation of commissions, long-term installations, and site-specific projects, notably focused on Land art, nationally and internationally. These include:

  • Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, which was inaugurated at Documenta in 1982), all of which are located in New York City
  • The Dan Flavin Art Institute (established in 1983) in Bridgehampton, New York
  • De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico
  • Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in Great Salt Lake, Utah
  • Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1973–76) in Great Basin Desert, Utah
  • De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany

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For additional information or materials, contact:

Hannah Gompertz, Dia Art Foundation, hgompertz@diaart.org, 212 293 5598