Monday was the photo class’s day to go to Dia:Beacon, about an 80 minute train ride north of the city. I knew it’d be rainy that day so I figured what a better day than to go to a giant art gallery. The ride was quite familiar- leaving from the 20 something track in Grand Central up the Hudson to scenic New York – since it was basically the same track that took us to Tarrytown on the Nyack trip. Upon arriving, I really didn’t know how huge this place was. This was revealed to me after we got our little Dia clips and made our way to the main building.
The first few rooms could easily fit a football field, but the art was rather minimal. I looked at the sculptures spaced around the gallery, and felt kinda bored. Granted I had woken up early and the weather was getting overcast, but the art just didn’t do it for me, and I wasn’t the only one. The first half of the first floor of the gallery told me that this place was somewhat of a letdown, but then I realized that this place just kept going. Once I ventured deeper through the oversized, plain rooms the art just got more interesting. A few that stick in my mind were some that used mirrors to skew the viewers perception of the piece, four giant twenty foot holes in the floor of different shapes, and other mostly-oversized pieces.
What I found to be my most enjoyable part of the gallery were the Richard Serra sculptures. I spent some time in their garage-like space walking in and out of them and playing with the way they carried the sound of footsteps or voices through the sculpture because of its shape. The basement also didn’t disappoint. If the top floor was the normal floor, the basement was the obscure floor. With almost no light other than that of the video and neon light art, the atmosphere seemed more like a fun house, which was a very welcome change from the sleepy air upstairs.
By the time I left, I was glad that the second half of my venture through the gallery made up for my initial expectations. It turned out to be an interesting gallery, and probably one of the most diverse I’ve visited so far. It definitely seems that the arts of New York extend well beyond the city. Most of it is here, of course, but while exploring the towns along the roads and tracks extending from the city, its obvious that what many would find to be their favorite art piece could very well not be here at all. For art lovers its worth the ride to go beyond what only the city has to offer.