The Rooster Coop

A Change in Plans: Visiting the Dia:Beacon

Posted in Stuff We Like by Jessica on January 29, 2010

Left: The Dia:Beacon from above; Right: Entrance to the Riggio Galleries. Images courtesy of DiaBeacon.org

What started out as a last minute cross-country ski trip turned into an unexpected, cultural outing for my boyfriend and I.

We left the city early Saturday morning in head to toe ski gear and made the hour drive to Fahnestock Winter Park near Cold Spring, NY. Neither one of us had ever attempted cross-country skiing, so we were very excited to try it out and risk some (hopefully, minimal) personal injury. Our excitement quickly dimmed to a small flicker when we reached the park’s entrance and were greeted with a cold “CLOSED.” We walked over to the park’s office, which was ALSO closed, and managed to pick up a couple of trail maps, hoping to save what was left of our extreme sport excursion. On one of the maps, I noticed that the city of Beacon was not too far and “called an audible,” as George often says – a visit to the Dia:Beacon.

The Dia:Beacon is surprisingly close to the city. It had been on my list for a while, but I kept putting it off because it merits a full day. Located in Beacon, NY – a scenic Metro-North or car ride up the Hudson – the museum houses an impressive collection of art from the 1960’s to the present. The large, open galleries (lit by natural sunlight) allowed us to enjoy all of the installations at our leisure and I did not find myself having to deal with the pressure of a crowd like I often do at the MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Some of my favorites - left to right: Richard Serra's "Torqued Ellipses," Sol LeWitt's "Wall Drawing #136: Arcs and lines," and "Drawing Series - Composite, Part I–IV, #1–24, B" All images courtesy of DiaBeacon.org

Richard Serra’s “Torqued Ellipses” installation made a particularly special impression on me – you can say I had a “moment.” The scale of the pieces and being able to interact with them gave me a new appreciation for Serra’s art. The graphic designer in me naturally gravitated to Sol LeWitt’s “Drawing Series.” I was in complete awe of his calculated use of lines and shapes on such a large scale – not one line was arbitrarily made. The pieces’ dynamic quality would have been lost on the viewer if they had been made any smaller.

At the end of our trip, George and I made a promise to visit the museum once again in the spring and take a stroll through the West Garden and catch some sun on their deck. However, you don’t need to wait until then or use a botched ski trip as an excuse to experience the wonder that is the Dia:Beacon.

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One Response

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  1. John said, on February 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration…I went this weekend. Drawing Series was incredible.


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