Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Dia Beacon: a Zen Escape from New York

The collection at Dia Beacon is not for everyone. Mostly Minimalism doesn’t appeal to most people I know, but I like to look at the entire museum as one, oversized holistic art work. First, the train ride along the beautiful Hudson out of New York City is enough to launch you into 1000 “Oms,” lined with mountains, lighthouses, boats and of course the picturesque Bannerman Castle. The museum used to be a Nabisco box factory, so its cavernous interior is perfect for the large scale installations inside, many by Minimalist and Land artists. The museum is also almost entirely day light, using the rows and rows of natural skylights from former factory to light the artwork below. The ample windows also reflect the nature outside, which is gorgeous in winter and summer. The experience of walking through the museum is nothing short of relaxing, inspiring and breath taking.

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The museum has several incredible pieces by Richard Serra, which seem to be made for the industrial space. You can sign up for a special tour of Michael Heizer’s three terrifying negative space sculptures, which are square, circle and rectangular shaped holes that dig 20 feet into the museum floor. (I didn’t get to close, the anxiety of falling in just four feet away was enough for me). The Warhol room is a bit of a snore (more Minimalist in theme instead of Pop-y), but I was excited to see the Louise Bourgeois suite. Stacks and stacks of grey felt, photos and installations make up an entire Beuys suite, and Bruce Nauman has taken over most of the basement, transforming one room into his former studio with surveillance projections he shot to try to catch a mouse nosing around his studio.

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Dia Beacon is perfect for a serene day-cation from New York life, accompanied by an adorable town with great places to get a coffee or lunch before heading back to real life.

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Who: Walter de Maria, Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois, Bruce Nauman, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Michael Heizer

What: Dia Beacon

Where: 3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY 12508

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