14 October 2008

storm king

Last Friday I went with a couple of friends to Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY (about an hour north of the GW bridge). The weather couldn't have been better. The sun was shining, it was cool in the shade and cozy in the sun.

Fall is the perfect time -- as the leaves are changing -- to explore the sprawling 500-acre landscape where art intersects nature. I was sad to learn that the art center is closed to the public from November to April. I would love to come back in the Winter to see how the views change through the seasons.

Here are a few of the sculptures on view, the way that I saw them.

Alexander Calder The Arch
We speculated as to what inspired this. I say it's an elephant, a friend says it's a cat with an arched back, a ship coming in to harbor. Whatever it is it was imposing, and magnificent.

Alexander Liberman Adonai

I just love how the color of the steel matches the leaves of this tree.

Sol Lewitt Five Modular Units
From this angle, it looks like the trees downhill from the sculpture are actually placed inside the cubes.

Ionic columns
These were salvaged from Danskammer, a mansion built in 1834 that overlooked the Hudson, north of Newburgh.

Hey Mr. Grasshopper!
(Click on me for more detail)

Mark Di Suvero Mon Père, Mon Père
Di Suvero created this in memory of his father. To me it looks like a piece of farm equipment, fitting right in with the once agricultural landscape.

A pastoral scene
This land was farmed for over 200 years, before Hudson Valley farming became difficult to sustain on the scale it once was. Later in the last century, the fields became overrun with invasive plants. Today, native long grasses and wildflowers have been reincorporated into the fields, adding depth to the scenery and contributing to the beauty of the sculptures.

Richard Serra Schunnemunk Fork

I'm a big Serra fan, but I'm more familiar with his gigantic twisted pieces of steel that tower over you like a Hokusai wave. This "fork" took a while to get a hold of me. There were four of these pieces of steel jutting out of the farmland. I really like the way the metal weathers, the pits that emerge. The smooth reflections cast are surprising for such a matte surface.

[Hey Mr. Spider!]

Turkey vulture
This was all I could think of while watching this bird soar above, "Old turkey buzzard... Old turkey buzzard. Fly-ing, flying high" (If you watch David Letterman, you might know this tune).

Menashe Kadishman Suspended
What the? This thing freaked me out big time. It really screws with your perception of depth and balance. My friends had the audioguide, so they learned this seemingly impossible sculpture has counterweights that go underground to support it. After the demystification, we felt comfortable enough to stand under it.

I highly recommend a visit to Storm King. I may even be going back before it closes for the Winter.