So we went to New York for five days last weekend. It was the usual late August hot, humid weather but we had two amazing art experiences that made it all entirely worthwhile.
1. Big Bambu on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum.
Doug and Mike Starn’s 40-foot high bamboo structure exemplifies what I always say about artists that do design-y type installations. It’s important to go big. The installation should always overwhelm the viewer so that the viewer feels the effect of the artwork. And that may mean that the artist needs to work for days, months on the project to get it large enough. A lot of young installation artists should heed this advice, I think.
We didn’t get to take a tour through the bamboo, but friends of ours did and said it was incredible.
2. Dia: Beacon
Robert Smithson’s Ithaca Mirror Trail, 1969. I couldn’t find specific images of the works they had at Dia, especially my favorite, Leaning Mirror, 1969. Image: c4gallery.com
We had always wanted to check out the Dia Foundation’s outpost in Beacon, New York. It is the perfect thing to do in 100 degree heat. Somehow, the minimalist sculptures had a cooling effect. It is, essentially the perfect venue for minimalism. I finally came to totally appreciate Donald Judd. And the Chamberlain crumpled automobile sculptures were stunning, there was one of the finest Lawrence Weiner wall works I’ve ever seen and a wonderful Bruce Nauman video of his empty studio at night, completely still save for a mouse now and then.
The Richard Serra sculptures were astounding. You realize why he’s one of the greatest American sculptors.
Serra’s large spirals at Dia make you feel free and constrained at the same time. Awesome. Image: coloradocollege.edu
Michael Heizer’s North, East, South, West, 1967/2002. Image: saatchi-gallery.co.uk
One interesting thing to note if you’re headed there is that if you email or phone ahead, you can book a tour every day at 10:30 am, to be toured around Michael Heizer‘s fantastic installation North, East, South, West, 1967/2002.
But my favorite piece – by far – was Robert Smithson’s excellent Leaning Mirror, from 1969, which was a large pristine mirror that had been elegantly inserted into a pile of dusty earth.
Click HERE for the Dia Foundation’s website.