The Goldsworthy stone wall at Storm King

by DRM

At Storm King, the unpar­al­leled sculp­ture gar­den in New York’s Hud­son Val­ley, an decay­ing stone wall wound through the old dairy fields.

The sculp­tor Andy Goldswor­thy over two sum­mers in 1997 and 1998 directed the struc­ture of a new stone wall along the path of the old one.

The new wall has a for­mal ele­gance that some­how tran­scends the sim­ple mate­ri­als and implied func­tion­al­ity of the stone. It winds around trees, dis­ap­pears into and emerges from a small pond, tum­bles down a hill. It is unre­mark­able at first blush, but sus­tains its pre­ci­sion across vary­ing terrain.

What is fas­ci­nat­ing is how it works as art. The expe­ri­ence is about your rela­tion­ship to the line and its rela­tion­ship to the ter­rain. The wall can be no more than that, a wall, but as you walk beside it, you can’t help but have your expe­ri­ence of the grass, the sky, the trees, the water and the stone changed by the wall’s con­tour. If you make the wall your focus, it speaks of an inef­fa­ble order­ing of nature, a repur­pos­ing of earthen mate­r­ial — stone — into a guide­line for a human expe­ri­ence. The wall, with its intense dis­ci­pline, can dizzy you, suck the expanse of the sky and the breadth of the fields into the intense grav­ity of the fieldstone.

It is beau­ti­ful, it is sub­tle and it is simple.

You can learn more about the Storm King Art Cen­ter here.