Andy Goldsworthy's STONE SEA Now Open at Saint Louis Art Museum

By: Jun. 28, 2013
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This weekend marks the official opening of Andy Goldsworthy's Stone Sea at the Saint Louis Art Museum in celebration of the museum's grand opening of the East Building. Stone Sea, a sculptural work of 25 arches constructed of roughly cut Missouri limestone, was completed in the fall of 2012. The sculpture is located in a new courtyard that joins the Museum's Cass Gilbert-designed Beaux Arts Main Building and the new East Building designed by renowned British architect Sir David Chipperfield.

In today's Wall Street Journal Ann Landi writes about Stone Sea. Drawing the link between Goldsworthy's ephemeral works and his permanent works, Landi says: "Stone Sea will be allowed to weather with age. Its surfaces will acquire a patina from the elements; lichen, moss and other vegetal intrusions may take hold. It will be as subject to the whims of nature as any of Mr. Goldsworthy's will-o'-the-wisp forays into the ever-changing landscape around us, but far more durable than a melting snowball or an assemblage of twigs." To read the complete article click here.

In developing this major installation for the Museum, the artist drew inspiration from St. Louis geology and, particularly, the city's underlying base of limestone. Aware that limestone formed in prehistoric times when the Midwest was covered by seawater, Goldsworthy installed the arches to reconnect the stone to its origin from the sea.

"The scope and complexity of the work reflects Goldsworthy's long career as a sculptor making ephemeral and permanent work with material drawn from nature," said Museum Director Brent Benjamin. "Stone Sea looks to the past, present, and future to celebrate the expansion of the Museum."

The artist chose to fabricate the 10-foot high arches using stone from a local quarry. "Stone Sea is one of the artist's most ambitious public sculptures to date," said Simon Kelly, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum. "It represents the culmination of Goldsworthy's long-standing interest in the arch form and embodies his deep attachment to the land and its ancient history."

"My aim is not to just install twenty five individual sculptures, but to create a sea of stone," said Goldsworthy. "The challenge has been to fit as many arches as possible into the space so that individual arches are lost in one single work."

In a diverse career spanning three decades, Andy Goldsworthy has become one of the most prominent and iconic sculptors of our time. In photographs, sculptures, installations, and films, Goldsworthy documents his explorations of the effects of time, the relationship between humans and their natural surroundings, and the beauty in loss and regeneration.

Image Via Saint Louis Art Museum