The whole idea is pretty genius - remaking a former Nabisco box printing factory on the Hudson River into a contemporary art space. I had thought about making the trip up the Hudson for years, but something would always come up and plans would be scratched. Until this time.
Finally, this February in the middle of a cold freezing (literally) day I decided it was the perfect time. It was.
Figuring out the train schedule and ticket purchasing to get there, not so perfect. As subway savvy as I may be, the train and navigating of Grand Central Station was a little advanced for this native Angeleno. Happy to have New York friends just a text away... and the staff at GCS were sorta helpful too. (Maybe I will do an addendum to this post on how to logistically get to DIA Beacon).
The 80 minute train ride is scenic and lovely - you meander through an industrial botanical side of New York. It is nice to have this quiet 'transition' time to unplug and slip into a relaxed state of mind prior to your DIA experience. The time at DIA is spirit enhancing. There is a quiet harmony between the vast open spaces, abundant natural light and art - being there has an effect on you. For me it was refreshing, invigorating and immensely inspiring. The building itself is a beautiful geometric foundation made of glass, steel, concrete and brick - the extra plus for me on the surround seasonal gardens designed by one of my absolute favorite artists: Robert Irwin.
Sharing some photos here along with a few thoughts. Number one thought: if you have not been, you should go, you will love ♡
Richard Serra torqued ellipses are striking, beautiful and pretty darn mesmerizing (Oh, and fun to wander into). The ochre color of the steel, the shape and scale, the feeling of being enveloped or being kept out - all make for a rich experience. I loved seeing his many many preparatory models as a peek into his process... in fact that was a favorite highlight.
Louise Bourgeois's installation takes up almost half of the Beacon's attic. Many sculptures are hanging, her iconic Crouching Spider is in a corner if you dare approach it, but my favorite was this compilation on a low table that had a little feel of a works in progress vibe on a studio table - there was a creative energy that connected them all. I loved the mixed of media and the spaced out placement that complemented their organic forms.
Gerhard Richter always gets me, partly because the way his style shifts and turns. He is an artist that I have followed for a long long time and I enjoy watching him move through different approaches. I loved these glossy large scale minimal glass panels that are designed to feel as if they are hovering. The do have that neither/nor feeling he was pursuing but they also provided me with an experience that provoked some quiet contemplation.
This was the first thing I saw upon entering the galleries, and I literally gasped! Dan Flavin's light sculptures from his 'Monuments to V. Tatlin' series have a way of making you think about how you see light in general and how light in art (history) is expressed. Plus, it is just so cool and still feels very fresh even though it was created between 30-50 years ago.