Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Postcard from New York, 4: Dia Beacon

Richard Serra
I have been to Art Heaven. Art Heaven is a place called Dia: Beacon and is a 90 minute train ride from Grand Central Station along the Hudson River. The train line follows the water's edge most of the way giving great views of the landscape and the bridges across the river and passes through wonderfully named places including Spuyten Duyvil, Yonkers, Ossining, Garrison, Cold Spring and Breakneck Ridge.
View from the train to Beacon - the Tappan Zee Bridge nr. Tarrytown (?)
Dia: Beacon is housed in a former Nabisco biscuit box-printing factory - and it is huge. The collection is fabulous and each piece is afforded generous space. The work of some 26 artists are currently on show and include many of my all time favourites: Bernd & Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Sol Lewitt, Agnes Martin, Blinky Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra... I could go on. (See here for the full list of artists.) There is so much here that is so wonderful it is hard to pick out a selection of examples - but, one display does perhaps stand out above all the rest: a whole series of Richard Serra's monumental Torqued Ellipses (picture, top). Two inch thick, rolled-steel plates weighing twenty tons apiece they dwarf the viewer who is able to walk into the intimidating curved spaces and feel the weight of the COR-TEN steel wall all around them. Terrific.
I also particularly enjoyed the beautiful Dan Flavin installation and was powerfully impressed by the scale of Michael Heizer's negative spaces dug into the gallery floor. So much here was just... wonderful. What follows is just a taste - (Click on images to enlarge.)
Dan Flavin
Michael Heizer
Donald Judd
Sol Lewitt
Blinky Palermo
Blinky Palermo
Gerhard Richter
Richard Serra
Robert Smithson
Robert Smithson
(See also: Postcard from New York, 1: Whitney Museum of American Art (+ The High Line); Postcard from New York, 2: MoMA; Postcard from New York, 3: The Guggenheim; click on the index label below to see all Postcards from New York)

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