Saturday, July 02, 2005

buenos dia

on the recommendation of a few friends, checked out the dia beacon in the hudson valley, a good two hours drive from my parent's new house and about an hour and a half by train from grand central. its not often new york gets a new museum and this dia outpost has only been open since may 2003. it features mostly the work of the major minimalists and coneptualists, with a little bit of pop art thrown in (can a modern museum exist with a room or two of warhols?) coincidentally, I spent all of last summer studying the minimalists and conceptualists, spending one day a week at least at moca's show. as they say in advertising, repetition works. spend enough time with robert smithson and richard serra and they start to make sense.

the space is truly beautiful - and here is where it ties into LA. robert irwin, an LA-based artist and best known for the gardens at the getty, designed the space with architectural form OpenOffice, but essentially kept most of the original features of the space - which was a 1929 printing factory. soaring space, tons of natural light, hudson valley foliage. the vast, open spaces allow the dia center to display pieces that couldn't be shown in more conventional museums.

there is no chronology of work nor heirarchy - each room features an individual artist. when possible, the dia center solicited the help of the artist themself to consult on the installation.

Walter De Maria

in a few cases, the artists designed site-specific pieces such as this one and this one. but the space is really the reason to go. by now, reclamation and re-use of late 19th/early 20th century is a cliche. but the dia beacon's location on the hudson, its incredible natural light, its site-specific installations make it a worthy detour. for most, the minimalists aren't easy to love. the dia beacon makes it just a little bit easier.

in other new york news: the highline is the most exciting new architecture project going on right now. fuck new stadiums. fuck the freedom tower. the highline beats them all.

oh, and LA has thrown my sushi scales way off. blue ribbon sushi in park slope gets great reviews in the media and online, and its good, but neighborhood strip mall joints in LA shame blue ribbon for half the price.


At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't know about the highline. That is so cool. (and they have a nice website, too) I always thought they should do more with the old rail lines they have in Los Angeles (like at Exposition Blvd.) Have you ever seen the walking path they constructed from an old railway between Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach? It goes for almost 4 miles. While it didn't keep the rails, it is a beautiful piece of urban planning.


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