Due to a wrong turn on the country roads that connect Kingston to North Adams, not far from the Massachusetts state line, I arrive late for the press briefing about the new, 120,000-square-foot building opening May 28 at MASS MoCA.
Dia:Beacon, a museum of mostly 1960s and 1970s vanguard art located in a former box factory on the Beacon waterfront, has put the Hudson Valley on the international art-world map. Stepping through the doors of the low-slung building into the narrow, high-ceilinged, brick-lined foyer, resembling the entrance to an ancient tomb, one stands on the threshold of 240,000 feet of exhibition space, whose sky-lit expanse of maple flooring surely constitutes one of America’s most sublime interior spaces.
Carl Andre’s self-effacing, ground-hugging assemblages of thick, squared-off timbers, firebricks, aluminum ingots, and metal square plates look completely at home in the sprawling galleries at Dia: Beacon. As a former factory with industrial-size spaces, the museum is a perfect complement to an art predicated on the system of industrial production.
“Winslow Homer: The Nature and Rhythm of Life” on view at Cooperstown’s Fenimore Art Museum through August 24, displays a small but comprehensive collection of paintings shown in its entirety for the first time. On loan from the Arkell Museum, which is located in Canajoharie and was established by Bartlett Arkell, founder of the Beech-Nut Company, the show, which also includes two other Homer works, one from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, enables the viewer to take in the range of Homer’s work within the space of a single room.
Artist Judy Pfaff has won numerous awards, among them a MacArthur Fellowship, and now, 10 years after the MacArthur, she has yet another feather to put in her cap: the International Sculpture Center’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. Pfaff, a longtime professor of the arts at Bard and co-director of the college’s Studio Arts Program, has the added pleasure of sharing the honor with her close friend and fellow sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard, who also is being recognized by the ISC (stay tuned for an upcoming article about von Rydingsvard).