Donna De Salvo Named Senior Adjunct Curator, Special Projects, at Dia Art Foundation

For Immediate Release
November 15, 2019

New York – November 15, 2019 – Dia Art Foundation announced today that Donna De Salvo has been appointed as Senior Adjunct Curator, Special Projects. A noted scholar of Andy Warhol, De Salvo previously held the position of Curator at Dia in the 1980s and brings with her a wealth of knowledge about Dia’s history and mission. De Salvo most recently served as Deputy Director of International Initiatives and Senior Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she worked for over fifteen years and helped develop a distinct institutional vision as the Whitney moved into its new home in the meatpacking district. In this newly created, part-time position at Dia, De Salvo will provide specialized input on Dia’s collection, exhibitions, and long-term installations, collaborating closely with its curatorial team led by Kelly Kivland and Alexis Lowry. De Salvo will also work with Dia’s archival team on developing and transforming the foundation’s archive into a rich public resource. She will begin her new role in January 2020.

“We are thrilled to welcome Donna back to Dia. Her extraordinary expertise and long history with Dia make her a wonderful addition to our team as we continue to work collaboratively to expand the discourse of art history through scholarly research and thoughtful expansion of our collection and exhibition program. Donna will play an integral role across our curatorial and archival departments in the coming years as we continue to challenge the accepted narrative of Minimal, Postminimal, and Conceptual art in the 1960s and 1970s, and consider the influence of these movements in contemporary art,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director.

“I’m delighted to be working with Dia Art Foundation again, an organization for which I have both a deep affection and admiration for its passionate support of artists and emphasis on the experience of art,” said Donna De Salvo. “The time I spent at Dia in the 1980s was a formative moment in my career, which shaped a lifelong interest in each of the artists they have collected in-depth over the years. I’m looking forward to working with Jessica and her team at this exciting transitional moment for Dia as they renew their dedication to this group of artists, while also expanding their vision to include underrepresented figures.”

De Salvo rejoins Dia at a time of exciting activity, with the renovated and expanded Dia:Chelsea slated to reopen to the public in September 2020 as part of a comprehensive multiyear campaign to advance Dia’s mission, program, resources, and facilities.

About Donna De Salvo

Donna De Salvo comes to Dia Art Foundation following a fifteen-year tenure at the Whitney Museum of American Art. De Salvo joined the Whitney in 2004 and was appointed the museum’s first Chief Curator in 2006. With the opening of the Whitney’s new building in 2015, De Salvo assumed the role of Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator. In these roles, she organized exhibitions and collection displays, codirected the painting and sculpture committee, oversaw the Andy Warhol Film Project, and led the museum’s efforts to define and communicate an expanded notion of art in the United States, both domestically and internationally. Recent exhibitions curated by De Salvo at the Whitney include Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again (2018–19), Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium (2017), Open Plan: Michael Heizer (2016), Open Plan: Steve McQueen (2016), and America Is Hard to See (2015).

Prior to joining the Whitney in 2004, De Salvo was Senior Curator at the Tate Modern in London. There, she was responsible for a wide range of curatorial projects, serving on the committee responsible for the collection displays, advising on acquisitions of international modern and contemporary art, and organizing exhibitions on Giorgio Morandi, Andy Warhol, and the Turbine Hall commission The Unilever Series: Anish Kapoor; Marsyas (2002–03). Over the years she has organized exhibitions of the work of Barbara Bloom, John Chamberlain, Ray Johnson, Gerhard Richter, and Cy Twombly, among others. In 2005–06, De Salvo co-organized Course of Empire: Paintings by Ed Ruscha with Linda Norden for the US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

De Salvo previously held curatorial roles at a number of institutions around the country including as Curator-at-Large at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University in Columbus; Robert Lehman Curator at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York; Adjunct Curator at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; and Curator at Dia Art Foundation, where she worked from 1981 to 1986. It was at Dia that De Salvo immersed herself in the work of Warhol and first met the artist himself. In addition to the recent Whitney exhibition of the artist’s work, she has organized Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition, 1955–62 (1992–93) and Success Is a Job in New York: The Early Art and Business of Andy Warhol (1989).

De Salvo is a past recipient of the Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award from the College Art Association, and has worked with several curatorial studies programs, including those at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and the Royal College of Art, London.

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, inaugurated at Documenta in 1982), all of which are located in New York City
  • The Dan Flavin Art Institute 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

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