Just a short trip up the NYS Thruway from Manhattan lies a fantastic collection of seamlessly incorporated outdoor (and some indoor) sculptures by the likes of Andy Goldsworthy, Louise Bourgeois, Sol LeWitt, Alexander Calder, and Mya Lin. This is Storm King Art Center.
“Widely celebrated as one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, Storm King Art Center has welcomed visitors from across the globe for fifty years. It is located only one hour north of New York City, in the lower Hudson Valley, where its pristine 500-acre landscape of fields, hills, and woodlands provides the setting for a collection of more than 100 carefully sited sculptures created by some of the most acclaimed artists of our time. ” (http://stormking.org/about)
Nestled into the hills you can find all sorts of engaging works, to be savored by adults and children alike. The juxtaposition of the natural environment and the towering and often mystifying pieces leaves the mind at play and at ease in a way that visiting a museum just can’t. The presence of works against the wide open air is enhanced by the elements of changing seasons and movement of blades of grass, flower petals and rustling trees and brush. The trails lead you on a walk of surprise even if visiting for the second or third time. As the surroundings change, so can your appreciation for a piece, in a different light, or as a different wind blows.
Storm King is refreshing as it is impressive, awakening as it is classic. Discovery and awe surround you in open air as you walk or bike or take a tram through the expansive hilly terrain. The ability to interact with and really become part of the landscape as the pieces of art have is a part of its magnificence. Standing beside a huge steel sculpture that has weathered decades in the elements just simply calls to mind your presence as well as well as your temporality. Carefully curated and often installed and commissioned specifically for the exact location on the landscape, most of the pieces blend or don’t with extreme intention. Richard Serra’s pieces come to mind as do Maya Lin’s and Andy Goldsworthy’s.
Micro-and macro-cosmic viewpoints are the pinnacle of the Storm King experience. Being in every spot on that land is being on a different spot. Seeing in every spot is seeing a different spot. From every angle, from every turn of the head and blink of the eye, you capture and experience a different panorama of delicious creativity. The wonder and joy of being human is captured in these panoramic glances. I highly recommend a visit.
By Lauren Haimelin