Sunday, November 2, 2014

Along the Hudson to Dia:Beacon

This day trip was the highlight of our last NY visit.
Eighty minutes by train from Grand Central along the Hudson River,
lies the Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, NY.
The Hudson Valley has the raw grandeur of an area left by melting Ice Age glaciers
and the Fall colours of October added a gorgeous mantle to the bare rock face.
Quaint towns 
and rich swamps line the Metro-North railway.
On arrival at Beacon a short walk over a knoll reveals an old factory previously used for printing Nabisco boxes 
that now houses this cathedral to Minimalist Art.
The huge, austere spaces with huge windows, skylights and white-washed walls
perfectly house the Minimalist works like these neon sculptures by Dan Flavin.
We loved the rooms with Sol LeWitt drawings.
Here's one of John's close-ups to show how the drawings are composed of simple elements.
John has recently discovered the work of Blinky Palermo. This room at DIA contains his series, The Times of the Day, 1974-1976.
These paintings cover metal sheets which gives them a special patina like old signage .

John was thrilled to see and capture how the surfaces have been painted over many times.
This room houses Agnes Martin's 1999 Innocent Love series.
Paintings like Where Babies Come From are the most accessible Martin's I've ever seen.
I like her early piece, The Spring, 1958, as well.
We were fascinated by Michael Heizer's sunken sculpture series,
North, East, South, West, 1967/2002.
I was utterly won over by Richard Serra's Union of the Torus and the Sphere, 2001, that fills its narrow space and forces the visitor to squeeze past the rusted metal sides.
When we left by the side entrance we noticed how the pruned trees match
the shape of the low industrial building.
The topiaries, shrubs and trees continue into the parking lot where the crabapple trees were a gorgeous Fall display of gold and red. 
We learned later that the landscaping was designed by American artist, Robert Irwin, as an extension of both the building and of  the artwork within. Back over the knoll to the train station.
John noticed this sign lying on the grass: "Father-Marine-Cop-Attorney". He said, "Look at these epithets, Bill. We wouldn't see these in Canada."
This is the view of the port of Beacon.
We begin the lovely return trip to Grand Central Station along the Hudson.


  1. What a magnificent building for minimalist artists. Gorgeous area too, well worth the train fare from NYC.

  2. Makes a great daytrip from Manhattan, Shelley.