The Goldsworthy stone wall at Storm King
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.