“The Art of Seeing Takes an Effort”

Richard Serra, installation view at Dia:Beacon. © Richard Serra/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Richard Barnes.As part of Community Free Day at Dia:Beacon on Saturday, October 13, Dia Art Foundation and the Garrison Institute will present a joint program. Taking its title from sculptor Richard Serra, who said that “The art of seeing takes an effort,” the program invites participants to explore different ways of connecting with art on view at Dia:Beacon while considering spiritual themes in art and contemplative aspects of art appreciation.  

Roger Lipsey, PhD, a member of the local advisory board of the Garrison Institute, will lead the program and give a talk that explores the spiritual aspects of art in religious art in the past and in contemporary art today, only some of which acknowledges a spiritual dimension. Books by Lipsey include a three-volume edition (1977) of the life and writings of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, the Anglo-Indian art curator who explored the spiritual in art and the way of the connoisseur, The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art (1988) and the prize-winning Angelic Mistakes: The Art of Thomas Merton (2006). “Experiencing art can be a pleasurable, revelatory effort of eye and mind, heart and body,” Lipsey says. “Like artists wholly engaged in creating, viewers have the opportunity to be wholly engaged in viewing works of art. There is an art of seeing.” After his talk, Lipsey will lead participants in viewing works in the Dia collection by Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin and Richard Serra.

The program starts at 11:30 am and runs approximately 1.5 hours. Space is limited; reservations recommended. Learn more here.

At Dia:Beacon’s Community Free Day, visitors can participate in a full day of special workshops, gallery talks, and tours, free with the price of admission.  Residents of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties receive free admission (with proper identification). 

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