Wednesday, 1 August 2007

A Museum, English Tea and Riverside Music

Summer evenings on the riverside - this seems to be a motif running through the towns nearby, too. We went to upstate New York to a town called Beacon on a calm Saturday afternoon. The drive, with Vandana at the wheel, through the beautiful green hills took us to this little town, also by a river - the very same Hudson!
Driving on the road parallel to the river, we could see it every now and then between the trees and little hillocks, glinting in the sunlight, small boats moving gently, a picture of serenity on a beautiful summer day.
Promising ourselves to return to the riverside when it was cooler, we went to the museum called Dia. The museum is vast and the galleries large enough to hold a Chennai wedding hall. Dia houses an interesting collection of modern art, and we were straightaway drawn to the Andy Warhol gallery, but I was disappointed not to see any of his more popular works. The work of artist Sol LeWitt was displayed on walls large enough to be the side of a house. Each exhibit covered a whole wall, and was made up of interesting geometric patterns in colours, devised mathematically - this really held our interest. Straight lines, curved lines, wavy lines, angles, arcs all blended to create aesthetically pleasing, magnum size delights.
Then there was this gallery which housed mounted on the walls - framed dates, like 6 Mars, 1962.
Just that and nothing else..
An explanation about the Japanese artist who made a record of the paintings and set himself deadlines for the paintings to be completed, and how he destroyed them if not completed by the deadline confused me completely. Deadline dates do not seem to be art to me. However, Sriram entertained us hugely by giving us accounts of corresponding events on the dates in our lives - and that relieved the tedium of that gallery.
This gallery did put me in mind of the story of an ardent lover of art who stood in front of a smaller board and pondered. Finally he asked the attendant what the picture signified. The attendant fixed a stern eye on him and said, "That sir, is the switchboard."

After tea at a quaint English style tea shop, which was very 'propahly' British, we headed to the park along the river. Large grass covered areas to loll around in.A local band, whose name sadly I missed, was to play on the open air stage, appropriately called Grassy Knolls. And we sat down to enjoy ourselves....... and were not disappointed at all.
A fitting end to a summer's day.


Anonymous said...

Jewels and binoculars hang from the head of a mule

Gardenia said...

Sounds idyllic. Great reporting. And Sriram missed his career as a humorist!

Karthik Narayan said...

happy birthday :)

Raji said...

Thanks, Karthik.