Mar 11, 2009

sky. light.

My new car is just over a decade old, and it's the newest car I've ever had. I'm still adjusting to strange phenomena like levers for moving side mirrors. I'm used to shouting instructions to passengers with their arms out the (crank) window: in just a bit, up a touch, down half that.

The very best thing about this new-fangled vehicle is the sunroof. I get to feel like I'm outside when I'm having to drive.
I've always driven with windows open, ridden a bike without a helmet (gasp!), left the doors and windows of my house hanging open. The more light and air the better. For some reason, it improves things exponentially to have that light and air above you.

This, I realized belatedly, is what I like about Dia:Beacon. I can do without the bulk of the artwork. It comes as no surprise that I believe the best parts of the museum are the gardens and the bookstore. AND the skylights. It is a lovely building. But any spacious industrial building would look lovely bathed in tons of natural light. It feels good.

The entire main floor is lit by daylight. The artwork is lit by daylight. When the skylights are buried in snow, Dia:Beacon is dark, and closed. This bit of information makes me appreciate the museum much more.
Then, the artwork. I can be really grouchy about modern art, especially massive, macho, public sculptures. There is a lovely response to that kind of work in the museum, and that is the holes, or negative space sculptures of Michael Heizer. They're still lined with steel, lest he be too femme about it. Let's re-line those suckers with some nice cotton canvas for a good lesbo aesthetic, shall we? Or just go upstairs and visit all those artists' removed testicles in the Louise Bourgeois room.

*Cloud fabric from Repro Depot Fabrics

4 comments:

lagusta said...

It's no exaggeration to say that I HATE 99% of the art at the Dia. I love love love Sol LeWitt and Louise Bourgeois is just fine (you've got to laugh at how they stuffed her up in the attic, though), but other than that, I see no reason to go, except, that I too love the building, and the gardens and bookstore. Being there always makes me unaccountably angry, though---I can't stop thinking about how annoying I find most of the piles of concrete that pretend to be art. I like modern art, just not most of the crap at the Dia. Do you remember when they had those "yarn sculptures" that were LITERALLY just strings of yarn hanging from the ceiling in a very boring, uninspired way? It was yarn thumbtacked onto the ceiling. No pattern or arrangement. It wasn't pretty and it didn't make you think. It had no politics, no aesthetic value, it had no nothing. Grrrrrr!

Scott Avery said...

It's funny what a little self-education can do...

Louise Borgeois chose the attic gallery at Dia, as did most of the artists who were still alive at the time it opened. She also specified that she wanted very little changed about the space (whereas most of the other galleries have been painted and shined, she requested that Dia leave the attic raw). Personally, I think it's very fitting for her work, and can see why she chose this space.

Also, you may want to look into the artist who hung the yarn sculptures...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Sandback

Upon closer inspection one will find that they are not "thumbtacked" at all...but embedded into the ceilings and walls, as if they are permanent fixtures (which they are).

Yes, I agree, modern art is not for everyone, but with a little extra time these "very boring, uninspired" pieces of art can open up to the viewer who wishes to take more than one look.

abovegroundpool said...

I suspect the "madwoman in the attic" connection wasn't lost on Louise...

lagusta said...

Hmm, good to know about Louise! And good to learn more about the Fred Sandback stuff. I still think it super duper sucks, though. But, like Voltaire, I'd defend to the death his right to make and show it. Hooray for art, even (especially) art I don't like!