Here are a few highlights from our April 2023 trip to the Storm King Art Center in the Hudson Valley of New York. (Except where noted, these shots are from our trip.)
The park covers 800 acres, so it has plenty of space to display large sculptures, often ones constructed in place. This piece by Mark di Suvero, first installed in 1987 and with the hanging cross beam added in 1998, has become iconic for the whole park.
There's plenty of space to display even large pieces. Here we're standing close to the base of one di Suvero, with three others visible in the distance. Visitors need to be ready to do a lot of walking.
Here's another di Suvero from this visit, in a different style, with a bit of Gail included for scale.
Storm King often commissions multiple works by the same artist, but they also remove pieces, so that some of the ones from our earlier visit (back in 2011) are no longer on display. Our favorite by far of the current batch of di Suveros was one new to us titled "E=MC2". The upward spray of four burnished stainless steel beams hangs from the peak of the four weathered steel ones.
Not all the steel constructions are tall towers. This bent beam echoes the hills around it, and the thin central panel draws attention to the "negative space" around it. (Oooh, we're learning new words!)
The Kadishman piece Suspended is quite impressive, but it also leaves the engineers among us wondering just how large a block of concrete is buried underneath its thin anchoring point. (This is a stock photo, since other guests were sitting in the shade next to the base when we were there.)
One piece that we both clearly remembered from our last visit and were eager to see again was Andy Goldsworthy's Storm King Wall, He marked out a sinuous path winding through the trees and then down into the pond and straiught up the other side. A team of UK wall builders than constructed the wall along that line. He later constructed a similar wall winding around some large boulders.
We also were eager to see again Alyson Shotz's Mirror Fence, a picket fence made of mirrors. The pickets are wider than the spaces between them, leaving your mind quite confused as to which objects are on which side of the fence. (Lance was squatting down to take the picture, so he is actually on the near side.)
One very interesting recent installation is Sarah Sze's Fallen Sky, made of many fragments with top surfaces polished into a mirror reflecting the sky.
Another long-term piece that we rememebered is Maya Lin's Wavefield, where she shaped the land itself into waves, pushing the boundaries of "art in nature". (This picture is from the web, since our visit was pre-green-grass.)
Yet another piece that we wanted to see again was George Cutts' Sea Change.
The piece has two beautifully-twisted poles that rotate. Depending on where you stand and how they are aligned, they sometimes seem to be rotating in the same direction and sometimes in opposite directions. (They are thin enough that your depth perception is poor, so your brain is cued more by their shapes.) The effect is truly magical.
We used a picture of this for a holiday card years ago after our earlier visit to Storm King, but a static picture is almost useless, so we're trying video this time. Since embedding video in web pages can be complicated, we're falling back on YouTube, which should work no matter which browser you're using, so click HERE to get a sense on the piece in motion.
Another piece that really needs video is Five Open Squares Gyratory Gyratory, by George Rickey.
The different squares are on pivots and carefully balanced so that even a gentle breeze will cause them to slowly rotate. Click HERE to see it in motion. Anyone might have had the idea of balanced squares, but it took an artist to think of bending the axle connecting the pair of them just this way.
There were lots of fine pieces to see, and in early spring, the trees themselves themselves can be impressive.
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