Saturday, December 16, 2006


This is the stuff that gets me, that held my attention, that moved me. I had had a lot of coffee. I was reading a sad book by Dave Eggers, What is the What, and I was on a train riding along the Hudson River, the sun shining brightly, the sky blue, leaves on the ground, barren trees, and everything looking so astoundingly beautiful. I couldn't believe, as sometimes I am unable to on days when I am so struck with the world's beauty, that I get to experience this stuff, that I get to live and take in things with my eyes. This ability to feel things, when I think about how special that is, continually shocks me.

At Dia:Beacon, I was a little bored. Robert Ryman, I don't get you. You either, Richard Serra. Blinky Palermo, you're over my head. And these were the first galleries I walked through. After that, I just gave up, starting walking through galleries pretty quickly. I may not understand Minimalism. I will readily admit it. But who wants to understand something so boring, so insular, so unemotional, so academic, so pompous? And maybe a lot of the artists there aren't actually minimalists. I am not sure about the distinctions here. The space itself is gorgeous and all the galleries are lit by natural light from skylights and big windows. Too bad it's filled with white canvases and Fred Sandback's yarn sculptures.

There was stuff that I did like though, perhaps you may say the easier stuff, the more mainstream stuff, the stuff everybody likes. I just don't believe that anyone really likes Fred Sandback or Robert Ryman. It seems like too much of an affectation. In the Ryman room of all these canvases painted white, there was this boy there, my peer, sitting there, seriously studying them, and I wanted to shout, "Come on! Are you serious?" But I did love the On Kawara paintings, but I had already loved them beforehand. I liked the Joseph Beuys stuff. I loved the Bruce Nauman stuff obviously. Rembember I said I liked the big names, the people with flashy stuff that entertains you. I like bright lights. And so put Dan Flavin on the list of artists I liked there. There is a sculpture, "Spider," by Louise Bourgeois that is amazing. I just felt so self-conscious spending time with it because there was a gallery attendent following me around, the only other person on this floor, just staring at my every movement. The Warhol room of "Shadows" prints is amazing. His prints look so good and provide so many more layers of meaning when they are all grouped together.

But I listed maybe five names there out of the 25 or so highlighted in this space. So my trip to Beacon was brief. I got back on the train with another cup of coffee and on that ride back almost cried a couple of times, mostly out of happiness at how gorgeous it was to be riding along the Hudson with the lowering sun warming my neck. I get so much reading done on trains, in ways that seem more meaningful than when reading on my couch. I don't know how to say anything it seems. I think I am losing more and more of whatever verbal abilities I may have at one point had, and now can do nothing but say, "Holy fuck, holy fuck! Fucking gorgeous!"

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