A blog called Art Outdoors cries out for posts about Storm King Art Center. Finally, I feel ready to respond, with a few starting notes, photos, and links.
“Widely celebrated as one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, Storm King Art Center* has welcomed visitors from across the globe for over fifty years. Located only one hour north of New York City, in the lower Hudson Valley, its 500 acres of rolling hills, woodlands, and fields of native grasses and wildflowers provide the setting for a collection of more than 100 carefully sited sculptures created by some of the most acclaimed artists of our time.”(quoted from About on the Storm King website) * named for nearby Storm King Mountain
Two years ago I got to Storm King for the first time. Constrained to three hours in such an immense and stimulating place, I longed to return as soon as we left. I began to fantasize a weekend visit in the summer, when the park stays open until 8 p.m. ( Fridays and Saturdays). Last weekend I really did spend an afternoon and evening, stay overnight nearby and return for opening at 10 until I had to head home to Massachusetts. Since then I’ve pondered ways to share from that extended time. Here’s one.
Mark di Suvero, Andy Goldsworthy, and Maya Lin
in the South Fields of Storm King
The Storm King map helps make the immense space manageable by designating four distinct areas. Here I’ll focus only on one area, South Fields, which the map describes this way: “Laced with walking paths, Storm King’s expansive South Fields combine vistas of the surrounding mountains with large scale and site-specific work.” The area appears to cover more land than the other three areas combined, but it includes only twenty of 110 artworks numbered on the map. Mark di Suvero, Andy Goldsworthy, and Maya Lin are three of several artists with work in South Fields.
“Mark di Suvero often works on an architectural, monumental scale, creating spatially dynamic sculptures largely from industrial steel I-beams, each weighing many tons. His primary tools are the crane, the cherry picker, and cutting and welding torches. Di Suvero’s bold, open, steel sculptures and the broad expanses of Storm King seem made for each other—together they create a unique environment in which the dynamism of art and nature reinforce one another.” (quoted from Storm King page about Mark di Suvero. To continue, click here.)
Andy Goldsworthy: “Storm King Wall—Andy Goldsworthy’s first museum commission for a permanent work in the United States and his largest single installation to date—exemplifies his nature-based methodology, which includes building this and other dry stone walls that draw on British agricultural tradition.” (quoted from Storm King page about Andy Goldsworthy. To continue, click here.)
Maya Lin “Viewed from above, the undulating swells of earth forming Storm King Wavefield appear to naturally rise from and roll along the grassy terrain. Set against a backdrop formed by Schunnemunk Mountain to the west and the Hudson Highlands to the south and east, Maya Lin’s earthwork inspires a broad perspective on the landscape from which it emerges and entices deep exploration of the grassy alleys between the cresting peaks.” (quoted from Storm King page about Maya Lin. To continue, click here.)
All three artists’ works added to my awareness of the rise and fall of land where I was walking. Each offered many possible pathways, inviting pauses and varied pacing. While DO NOT CLIMB reminders appeared throughout the park, the act of climbing toward, alongside, around, or through these artworks is a major way to appreciate them. In addition, two of di Suvero’s artworks ( For Chris and She) are designated as exceptions with hand icons that “invite visitors to touch and interact.”
Walking in South Fields allowed me to feel and recognize connections among Mark di Suvero, Andy Goldsworthy, and Maya Lin.
Your own connections, questions, and corrections will help me decide what else to say about Storm King Art Center. Please comment. Thank you.