A few weeks ago, I went to Dia:Beacon with a friend visiting from Denmark. It is some way out of the city — approximately two hours drive — but it was on the top of her list of “must-sees” while visiting New York and I hadn’t been there for two years; I liked the idea of visiting this amazing place again.
Dia:Beacon is part of the Dia Art Foundation’s constellation of sites, occupying a former Nabisco box printing factory on the banks of Hudson River. The industrial building, composed of brick, steel, concrete and glass, provides the perfect setting for the art. Artist Robert Irwin was invited to conceive the masterplan for the twenty-first-century museum exterior that retained the original character of the interior spaces.
Dia:Beacon presents a collection of art from the 1960s to the present. Among the artists, you find Richard Serra, Lawrence Weiner, Michael Heizer, Joseph Beuys, and many more. Two of my favorites are minimalist sculptor Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, another American minimalist famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures.
As it was my friend’s birthday that day, and we had celebrated with a big American breakfast: pancakes, eggs, etc., we got out of the door a bit later than planed. We arrived only one and a half hours before they closed the museum, so we almost had the place to ourselves, as you can see in the pictures.
The commute to Beacon is about two and a half hours by the train. You leave from Grand Central to go to Beacon and then the museum is located five minutes walk from the station. The train ride is very beautiful, riding along the Hudson River. If you prefer to rent a car, I recommend that you also visit Storm King Sculpture Park on the way, another amazing place.
Dia: Beacon, 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY 12508