ARO is overseeing the upgrade and expansion of Dia Art Foundation’s locations in New York City and Beacon, as part of a comprehensive, multi-year plan to strengthen Dia’s mission, program and resources. The new Dia Chelsea expands street-level exhibition spaces behind new brick facades, uniting three existing buildings for a more cohesive visitor experience.
Extending Dia’s history of revitalizing buildings for contemporary art, the design honors the industrial vernacular of each structure and of the neighborhood itself, while creating a seamless experience for visitors in rejuvenated, luminous spaces.
One gallery, located in a former marble factory, retains its exposed brick wall. A retractable metal-panel door enables the handling and installation of large-scale work within the gallery, as well as offers the potential for street-facing performances and installations.
The adjoining second gallery space will retain its distinctive vaulted, wood roof, white walls, and tall glass doors. In each exhibition space, new, upgraded, and insulated skylights—matching the design of the originals—allow natural light to enter the galleries.
The inaugural exhibition at Dia Chelsea was two largescale commissions by Lucy Raven. Ready Mix (2021), an approximately 50-minute black-and-white film shot at a concrete plant in central Idaho, was presented in the western gallery; Casters X-2 + X-3 (2021), two pairs of moving light sculptures from Raven’s Caster series, were presented in the eastern gallery.
The full strategic plan encompasses the restoration, renovation, and expansion of Dia’s two principal gallery spaces in Chelsea and Beacon; the reactivation of one of its original programming spaces in Soho; and the revitalization of two landmark installations by Walter De Maria, The New York Earth Room and The Broken Kilometer, which have been maintained by Dia since first installed in the 1970s.
The second exhibition is Plexus by the multimedia artist Camille Norment. Watch Camille describe her approach to this site-specific work in the interview below.