When Donna De Salvo stepped down as deputy director of the Whitney Museum, the news shocked the New York art world. In June, when that announcement was made, De Salvo didn’t name any future plans, though now her next steps are clear—she’s headed to another major New York institution.
The New York Times reports that De Salvo will now be the Dia Art Foundation’s senior adjunct curator of special projects. She begins in her role in January at the foundation, which oversees exhibition spaces in Manhattan as well as Dia:Beacon, a museum in Upstate New York, and various Minimalist and Land artworks across the nation. She is being brought on as Dia prepares to open its newly renovated spaces in Chelsea in September 2020. And it marks a return of sorts, as De Salvo worked decades ago as a curator for Dia, from 1981 to 1986.
“For me, it’s a continuation of the work I’ve been committed to my whole career,” De Salvo told the Times.
Before June, De Salvo had been at the Whitney for 15 years. Among her projects there was a behemoth Andy Warhol retrospective that opened in 2018, as well as exhibitions about Hélio Oiticica, Lawrence Weiner, and many more. Prior to working at the Whitney, she had been a senior curator at Tate Modern in London, and had also organized, with Linda Norden, Ed Ruscha’s U.S. Pavilion for the 2005 Venice Biennale.
De Salvo’s hire comes as Dia expands with its retooled Chelsea space plus plans to reopen a bookstore that used to be there and the reclamation of a different space in SoHo that has been rented to commercial enterprises over the years. Meanwhile, Dia has been bulking up its curatorial team—the foundation promoted Kelly Kivland and Alexis Lowry earlier this year.