Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dia Day

New Yorkers take note.  The Dia Beacon is an easy train ride away (a well-signed walk from the Beacon station on the Metro-North line towards Poughkeepsie) and well worth a visit.  The museum occupies an enormous space (a former Nabisco boxing facility), which is a perfect setting for the large-scale, often minimalist art in the collection.  Highlights include several huge chambers of Lewitt abstractions (try to figure out the principles behind the patterns!), a particularly nice selection of Bourgeois sculptures, towering Serra pieces, and wooden piece by Judd that looks like a shipping crate at first but reveals its true form of close inspection.  Also impressive are the Agnes Martin paintings.  The pastels in that collection don't work for me, but a room of monochromes shows the artist at her best, with a yin-yang balance of obsessive order and subtle imperfection (as in the example above).

Irksome, though, are the cafe napkins.  Click on the photo to the right, and read the list of artist names.  Anything missing?  Exactly.  A Louise Lawler exhibit is discretely mentioned on the back, but the ostentatious list on the front is decidedly androcentric, which is especially odd given that the museum houses such exceptional work by Bourgeois and Martin.  Surely a crime of omission.  Shame on you Beacon!