Director at Dia Art Foundation
For the last six years, Dia Art Foundation Director Jessica Morgan managed the organization’s return to Chelsea. The renovation and expansion project includes 20,000 square feet of space in Dia’s existing industrial buildings on 22nd Street. High vaulted ceilings made of wood and supported by metal beams create a near church-like atmosphere. Inside, Lucy Raven’s newly commissioned film in one gallery and rotating industrial armatures in another fill the space. There might not be a better-looking gallery space or show on New York’s West Side.
“The natural light, simplicity, and modesty of the industrial architecture make the renovated and expanded galleries a wonderful space to gather and view art (I think),” Morgan told Observer.
The success of Raven’s show, in part, relates to what Morgan sees as Dia’s greatest strength. “We can give artists the time needed to experiment and realize work and then enable our visitors to revisit projects that are often on view for many months or even many years.” Raven’s exhibition will be on view through January 2022, an eternity in Chelsea years.
Roberta Smith recently referred to DIA as “the keeper of the avant-garde flame,” a worthy title, but one that carries with it all the inequities Minimalism represents. The pandemic prioritized the organization’s efforts in this regard. “We will need to think about things differently,” Morgan said. “We will continue to support the diverse range of artists we work with to realize long-term projects and commissions that are core to Dia’s mission…But we will also think about how culture can play a role in supporting the voices of the young people we engage with, and we will expand our work with our communities across our sites.”