Though New York City never lacks options for an entertaining summer, it is nice getting out of the city for a day. A hop, skip and a Metro-North ticket away you can check out what upstate has to offer including the Dia: Beacon Museum. The train ride there is enough to make the trip worth it. If you get a seat on the correct side of the train, you can enjoy a view of the Hudson, mountains, and people kayaking the whole way there.
When you arrive to the Dia: Beacon the outside structure is pretty simple, mainly because it was previously a Nabisco printing factory. The sunroofs and sun-weathered wooden floors give each room and each exhibit a certain feel. This is particularly true for the Richard Serra installation in a room that looks like it was either a huge garage or storage room. Once you enter the room the structures’ size is very intimidating and overwhelming. It feels like walking into a room full of the remains of old ships but the light coming into the windows adds warmth. One of the structures has a winding hallway that leads viewers into N open space in the middle of the room. Walking down that hallway is unnerving since hardly any light penetrates, but once you get into the middle, light re-emerges and you feel a sense of relief.
Another exhibit to check out is Sol LeWitt’s. Using different predefined mathematical rules, Sol LeWitt uses grids to create works. These are based on a number grid similar to a 4-number Sudoku puzzle where every combination of a 4×4 Sudoku grid is displayed with the use of lines (i.e. 1 is vertical lines, 2 is horizontal, etc.). Even with the guide drawn on the wall it was a little hard to find out his exact method. But since I was there for my summer class Mathematics in Contemporary Art, I took a shot at it and almost got it in the end. However, since LeWitt’s rules are not completely obvious (not all 4×4 possibilities are presented) it doesn’t seem completely possible to figure out the rules without being Sol LeWitt yourself. Still, it is a very good exercise in logic to study the LeWitt’s exhibit.
Dia:Beacon is definitely a great place to take a nice day trip out to with many other long term exhibitions that are staples to the museum. Through the MTA website you can buy entrance into the museum and a round trip ticket for $31.50. This comes out to be cheaper than even buying the discounted student price so do not miss out!
-Yasmin Vera, SEAS ’13