Jessica Morgan Named to Lead Dia Art Foundation

The Board of Trustees of Dia Art Foundation has announced the appointment of Jessica Morgan as its next Director.

New York, NY - The Board of Trustees of Dia Art Foundation announced today the appointment of Jessica Morgan as its next Director. Since 2002, Morgan has been a curator at Tate, and in 2010 she became Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, at Tate Modern in London. She is the Artistic Director of the 10th Gwangju Biennale, which opened on September 5, 2014. She assumes her position at Dia in January 2015.

As Director, Morgan will lead Dia into its next era, strengthening and activating all parts of Dia's multivalent program, including its pioneering Western land projects, site-specific commissions, and collections and programs at Dia:Beacon, as well as reinvigorating its artistic and intellectual presence in New York City.

"The Board of Trustees has unanimously and enthusiastically voted to appoint Jessica Morgan as Dia's fifth Director," said Nathalie de Gunzburg, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Dia Art Foundation and member of the search committee. "When we met with Morgan and spent time sharing ideas and exploring her vision for Dia, we knew that her commitment to artists, coupled with her rigorous curatorial approach and exhibition history-both deeply rooted in scholarship-mirrored what Dia has stood for over its history. She has the broad experience and leadership skills to take Dia forward as both a commissioning and collecting institution. And, she is at the center of the global conversation on contemporary art. We are confident that Morgan will keep Dia true to its vision and unmatched legacy, while exploring new directions, engaging a new generation of artists, and reaching new audiences."

Since 1974, Dia has supported artists by providing them with the intellectual, logistical, and financial resources they need to realize their ideas and take their work in new directions. Dia's mission and dedication to ensuring that artists have the time and space to deeply explore and manifest their ideas has inspired the creation of extraordinary projects and programs that stretch across the United States and beyond. They comprise iconic permanent, site-specific artworks and installations, such as Walter De Maria's The Lightning Field and Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty in the American west; an exhibition program that has commissioned dozens of breakthrough projects; the vast galleries of Dia:Beacon, which house a "collection of collections" made up of in-depth, single-artist groups of work; and programs of publishing, education, and public engagement.

Dia is embarking on plans to create a new physical space in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, which will become the intellectual and artistic hub of its work. Located in the center of the art world, Dia:Chelsea will present ongoing exhibitions and public programs that engage artists across generations and disciplines and help them realize new levels of visibility or develop new works that would often fall outside the parameters of traditional institutions.

"Dia has been the intellectual touchstone for me in my formative years as a student and curator. I have carried its ethos for putting artists first into all of my subsequent work in the US, UK, and beyond. I am honored to lead and advance what I believe is an institution of singular vision and commitment to artists at a moment in its history and at a time when the art world is changing," said Morgan. "More than ever, artists-and the public-need and deserve the long-term support of artists that Dia has championed."

Morgan has served as Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, at Tate Modern since 2010 and as a curator at Tate since 2002. At Tate, Morgan is currently curating The World Goes Pop (2015). She has curated a number of important exhibitions including the retrospectives Saloua Raouda Choucair (2013), Gabriel Orozco (2011), John Baldessari: Pure Beauty (2009), and Martin Kippenberger (2006), as well as the group shows The World as a Stage (2007), Time Zones (2004) and Common Wealth (2003). Morgan also curated the Unilever Series commissions for the Turbine Hall by Tino Sehgal, These associations (2012); Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, TH.2058 (2008-09); and Carsten Höller, Test Site (2006-07). Additionally, she developed a series of solo exhibitions of international emerging artists including Meschac Gaba, Roman Ondàk, Catherine Sullivan, Simryn Gill, and Brian Jungen in 2005-06.

In addition to her work on exhibitions, Morgan played a key role in the growth of Tate's collection, helping develop the museum's holdings of mid-century and emerging art from North America, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. During her tenure at Tate, she also worked on the development of the institution's acquisition committees for the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia and worked extensively with the International Council.

Morgan was previously Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, where she organized exhibitions of work by, among others, Carsten Höller, Ellen Gallagher, Olafur Eliasson, Rineke Dijkstra, Marlene Dumas, Marijke van Warmerdam, Kerry James Marshall, and Cornelia Parker. Prior to her position at the ICA she was a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where she organized the first US and UK surveys of the work of Mona Hatoum. Morgan succeeds Philippe Vergne as Director at Dia. Since Vergne's resignation, Charles Wright, Dia's former director and long-standing Trustee, has served as interim director.

"To know of Jessica Morgan's committed involvement to contemporary art and its artists, and how this can align with Dia's history and ongoing mission, gives me full confidence that with her leadership Dia will continue onto another period of unique advancement," said Brice Marden, Trustee, Dia Art Foundation, and member of the search committee.

The Board of Trustees organized a Search Committee to oversee the process of selecting a new Director. The Search Committee included Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Nathalie de Gunzburg, along with Trustees Mark Booth, Frances Bowes, Brice Marden, Howard Rachofsky, Kirk Radke, Marissa Sackler, and Charles Wright.

Dia Art Foundation
Dia Art Foundation, founded in 1974, is committed to initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving extraordinary art projects. Dia:Beacon opened in May 2003 in Beacon, New York. Dia also maintains several long-term, site-specific projects, including 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 Oaks (1988), and Dan Flavin's untitled (1996), all in Manhattan; the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria's The 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. Dia also commissions original artists' projects produced for the web and produces scholarly publications. Dia currently presents temporary installations, performances, lectures, and readings on West 22nd Street in the Chelsea section of New York City, the neighborhood it helped pioneer. Plans for a new project space are underway. For more information please visit www.diaart.org.