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ARTS NOTES

More change at Dia Foundation

May 21, 2006|Christopher Reynolds

NEW YORK'S Dia Foundation, the haven for contemporary art and artists that lost director Michael Govan to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art three months ago, has now lost its board chairman as well.

Leonard Riggio's gifts of roughly $30 million were central to Dia's widely admired 2003 conversion of a Beacon, N.Y., factory into an outsized art space. But Riggio, after eight years as Dia chairman, told the New York Times on Tuesday that he would give up the chairman's role as soon as a replacement was found.

The 65-year-old Riggio, who also serves as chairman of Barnes & Noble Inc., said he no longer had energy for the Dia job and might or might not remain on the foundation's board. His decision came six weeks after the resignation of Dia's vice chairman, Ann Tenenbaum, a 12-year board veteran who cited other commitments.

Dia closed its Manhattan exhibition spaces in 2004 and embarked on a plan to open at a new municipal-owned site in the city's meatpacking district. A Dia spokeswoman says the foundation is still in talks with city officials about the proposal and has raised more than $15 million toward the project's estimated cost of between $25 million and $40 million. Meanwhile, she says, the foundation has a search firm looking at prospects for director.

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Christopher Reynolds

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