Minimalist Art on the Hudson

avant garde art
Smithson's "Atlantis"

Dia:Beacon is a former Nabisco factory now minimalist art museum on the banks of the Hudson. There are plenty of one time avant garde art works to see and justify a day trip along the gorgeous pearly waters and the moundy green hills.

I like Richard Serra best and they have a whole room full of his work: fifteen foot spirals of iron that encircle you and encourage you to see the different shadows the sculpture casts.

Robert Smithson, of the “Spiral Jetty,” is another boss whose work is well represented. I found his work “Atlantis” to be particularly fascinating.

The retrospective of Blinky Palermo was well curated, but his work is little more than the most ironically postmodern of all the minimalists. The black, red and yellow permuted squares that line the walls are in effect him demonstrating the tedium and absurdity of modern life (he died of drugs at 33 (funny, isn’t it, how a young drug-induced death makes the subject more romantic in the viewer’s eyes (drugs especially are a modern phenomenon of death, though tend to signal pusillanimity; I prefer Byron’s method of fatally contracting disease while abroad))). His fabric works, which consist of two pieces of fabric hanging side by side are perhaps attempts to see how much he can get away with.

But definitely check it out. We didn’t even go into the town of Beacon, which is supposed to be pretty hip. The new Hudson River Park with canoe rentals is a draw as well. Dia:Beacon is a great way to get out of the concrete jungle on a hot summer day.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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