During a flawless fall day at the Storm King Art Center, in Hudson Valley, I was walking by a low, curving stone fence when a friend called out, “Wait! This is something.” She’d acted as our de facto guide all afternoon, because I hate unfolding and refolding maps and the Storm King app crashed the second I opened it on my phone. “It’s that artist who makes walls out of stones.” She hesitated. “They’re pretty big … sometimes?” She was struggling to describe the work of the artist Andy Goldsworthy, and it’s not hard to see why. The art at Storm King can at times feel very big, overly loud, and at odds with the plainspoken natural beauty of the rolling hills, and here was this unassuming, undulating little stone fence that seemed to start and end where the trees that background it came from—the dirt. This kind of Thoreauvian, blink-and-you-miss-it naturalist intervention has been Goldsworthy’s thing for decades, and why his new monograph is called Andy Goldsworthy: Ephemeral Works 2004 – 2014. It really helps to have someone point him out to you.
“Andy Goldsworthy: Ephemeral Works 2004 – 2014” is available now through abramsbooks.com.