Richard Serra's Inside Out at the Gagosian Gallery

Richard Serra’s Inside Out at the Gagosian Gallery

I am familiar with Richard Serra because he has a sculpture, The Wave, at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle.

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And when I was at Storm King Art Center, I saw his Schunnemunk Fork.

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So I was delighted to learn that the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea was showing another of Serra’s massive steel sculptures.  Called Inside Out, you felt invited to follow its curves like a maze, albeit a short one.  Standing in the narrow gap between the high walls was similar to being in a slot canyon.  I loved this.

Richard Serra's Inside Out

Richard Serra’s Inside Out

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You can read more about this piece and more of Serra’s work here.

Andy Goldsworthy, Strom King Wall, 1997-98

Andy Goldsworthy, Storm King Wall, 1997-98

I’ve traveled great distances to see Andy Goldsworthy’s extraordinary art.  The last time I was in New York, my husband and I saw his Garden of Stones at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan.  In April, I went on a five-day guided hike in France where I saw nine Goldsworthy installations along the trail.  (You can read about that experience here and here and here.)  The $46 bus tour ticket to Storm King to see Goldsworthy’s walls was a much smaller investment than a trip to France, and the rewards of seeing the art in its natural setting was just as satisfying.

I was surprised at how long the wall extended.  It started in a straight line atop a hill, then dropped down to a lake, and finally continued in a sinuous curve on the other side of the water.  The part that curved around the living tree trunks was quite visible seeing that the trees were bare this late in the season.  The lake was like a reflecting pool, magnifying the beauty of this setting.

Distant view of the wall on the hill

Distant view of the wall on the hill

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I was also surprised to learn that Goldsworthy constructed a second wall at Storm King in 2010.  Much shorter than his first wall, this one is called 5 Men, 17 Days, 15 Boulders, 1 Wall.  I think the title says it all.

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South fields at Storm King Art Center

South fields at Storm King Art Center

On one of my days in New York, I arranged to take an all-day bus tour to Storm King Art Center, a sculpture and land art mecca about an hour north of NYC in the Hudson Valley.  I learned about Storm King when I was researching where I could see Andy Goldsworthy’s art.  He built two walls at Storm King, which I will write about in tomorrow’s post.

As I waited for my bus to depart from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, I saw a non-stop stream of people line up and fill buses destined for an outlet mall.  The Storm King stop was a few miles beyond the outlet mall, and just three or four buses from the dozens departing would make a special stop there each day.  The bus company rep told me that after the regular passengers got on my bus, the remaining seats would be filled with shoppers.  I wondered if I was going to be the only person getting off at Storm King, because shoppers certainly trumped art aficionados from what I could see.

When the bus stopped at Storm King, I was relieved to see that five other intrepid souls got off at the remote stop.  As we headed toward the gate, the security guard emerged from the shack waving his arms and shouting, “We’re closed, we’re closed!”  Meanwhile, the bus had turned around and was departing up the road.  Now what?  A sign posted by the gate stated that the art center was open on this day of the week, as did the website.  Each of us had bought admission tickets as part of our bus tour package.  Clearly there was a mix up.  The guard called to the administration building to see what could be done.

An administrator, S, drove down to the gate to figure out some arrangements for us.  She said that we would be allowed to enter the grounds and could wander around to see the sculptures.  The good news was that we would have the place to ourselves.  (Pretty neat.)  The bad news was that the cafe and gift shop and plumbed bathrooms were closed. (There were port-a-potties).  S asked if any of us had brought food or water, and then she volunteered to provide us lunches.  We arranged to meet back at a picnic area in an hour.  She gave us her phone number in case of an emergency, and we all dispersed to encounter art in a bucolic, expansive landscape.

Our trip was salvaged, and we had four hours before the bus would arrive to take us back to the city.  Amazingly, this was not enough time to see everything.  The grounds were vast.  The art was extraordinary.  The beautiful landscape itself was as worthy as the sculptures.  It was an immensely satisfying experience.  These photos give you a sense of what Storm King has to offer:

Alexander Calder, Five Swords, 1976

Alexander Calder, Five Swords, 1976

Tal Streeter, Endless Column, 1968

Tal Streeter, Endless Column, 1968

Endless Column with Alexander Calder's Arch, 1875

Endless Column with Alexander Calder’s Arch, 1975

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Menashe Kadishman, Suspended, 1977

Menashe Kadishman, Suspended, 1977

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Zhang Huan, Three Legged Buddha, 2007

Zhang Huan, Three Legged Buddha, 2007

Grace Knowlton, Spheres, 1973/1985

Grace Knowlton, Spheres, 1973/1985

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Queen Anne's lace

Queen Anne’s lace

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Forrest Myers, Four Corners

Maya Lin, Storm King Wavefields, 2007-08

Maya Lin, Storm King Wavefields, 2007-08

Alexander Calder, The Arch, 1975 (manipulated photo)

Alexander Calder, The Arch, 1975 (manipulated photo)

Meadow grasses with Calder's Arch

Meadow grasses with Calder’s Arch