Sunlight on the Hudson

David Manley Avatar

The run up to our trip to New York kept me away from my blog and now the trip itself is in danger of doing the same.  Too much to do really to be scribbling much so just a few tasters and proper reflections to follow maybe.

First day proper a trip up the Hudson to Dia:Beacon and a really big dose of late 20th century heavyweights, Flavin, Sandback, Judd (of whom more later), Serra, Smithson, Richter, Neuman, Heizer, Palermo, Beuys and – well blow me down joining this ‘boys’ club Agnes Martin & Louise Bourgeois – made up this huge cavernous property.  Whilst it was good to see much of this work properly displayed in depth one couldn’t help thinking it was all a bit 80’s “greed is good” Gecko territory and in keeping more with a couple of my breakfasts these past two days…just too much (my bagel with cream cheese and salmon must have taken a whole carton of Philly). 



For me it was the more surprising pieces that really grabbed my attention such as this piece by Imi Knoebel.  All that said it was quite a pilgrimage and well worth it. Not least for the journey itself.  Views of the river still pretty firmly in the grip of winter despite it officially being the second day of spring…it certainly didnt seem so as we made the return journey in a flurry of snow.

Yesterday we stayed in the city and firmly down town.  First up a visit I’d much been looking forward to – the tour of Don Judd’s Spring Street residence.  This didnt disappoint…in fact for a couple of painters there were some interesting surprises.  There is a David Novros fresco that reminds one just how underrated (and virtually unknown in the UK) this intelligent colourist is.  On the same floor is a Reinhardt in red that has alarmingly expressionistic underpainting behind its rigorous structure.  A floor further up a huge Stella protracter dominates the end alcove…that our guide Charlotte told us Judd thought either the last of the best or the first of the worst…but for me what alarmed me more was the rather casual craft…tape bleeds and more sloshy brushwork.  But of course the real beauty of this all was the opportunity to get up real close and personal to the works.  No photography allowed – so save yer pennies and make it a trip. From there we went to the New Museum…their Triennial that was frankly just too much on all counts after the studied calm of Don’s place.  That said there was a great deal to take in and one tip is to keep an eye out for Avery K Singer in the future.

Today we are off to Brooklyn so more of that to come.

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