Dispatch: DIA:Beacon

Dia:Beacon is a little over a hour’s drive north of New York City, on the Hudson River. It’s a regular Saturday escape for us city people, but I only recently made the trip up for the first time to check it out. 

It’s common now to see museums made from former industrial spaces. In Milan, there’s the new Fondazione Prada, there’s MASS MoCA in the Berkshires, and the Tate Modern in London

Still, I’m always struck by these conversions. The enormous scale of many of these old industrial spaces is always impressive, and at DIA:Beacon, I found myself imagining workers there 50 years ago toiling away, in this case printing cartons for Nabisco, having no idea that their workstation would some day be home to some very expensive abstract art. 

The meditative mood of the place benefits from this surreal juxtaposition.  

At DIA, I scoped the giant Richard Serra sculptures for the first time, but was particularly struck by Richard Irwin’s Excursus: Homage to the Square³

It’s essentially a series of rooms lit by a pair of fluorescent lights with various color gels on them. It’s like a minimalist funhouse or something. I found myself happily lost among the repeating rooms though. That installation is up until May, and definitely worth making the trip to see.