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How Art and Nature Interact at Upstate New York’s Storm King Art Center

How Art and Nature Interact at Upstate New York’s Storm King Art Center

VISUAL ART NEWS

How Art and Nature Interact at Upstate New York’s Storm King Art Center

The Upstate New York sculpture park, Storm King Art Center, is among the most idyllic places to see large-scale outdoor sculpture in the country. “There really aren’t very many other places, particularly in the United States, where you can see artwork on this type of scale and this type of ambition,” Storm King senior curator Nora Lawrence recently told Brooke Jaffe for “ARTnews Live,” our ongoing IGTV series of interviews with a range of creatives. “It’s a place to really see art in nature.”
Founded in 1960, the Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, New York, was initially intended to spotlight visual art and music, focusing on the Hudson River School of landscape painting. Founder Ted Ogden felt inspired by a visit to the late artist David Smith’s studio in the Adirondack Mountains, where he saw “80 large-scale Smith works displayed outdoors over rolling hills, as Smith had placed them himself during his lifetime,” according to Lawrence.

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That experience led Ogden to realize he could juxtapose the area’s beautiful landscape with artwork. The art space now boasts a myriad of permanent artist commissions, such as Maya Lin’s Storm King Wavefield (2007–09) and Richard Serra’s Schunnemunk Fork (1990–91), as well as loaned works, augmented by rotating temporary exhibitions.
[Read more about Storm King’s most famous installations.]
One such exhibition earlier this year was “Kiki Smith River Light,” featuring work by the New York–based artist comprised of nine flags installed in a circle on Storm King’s Museum Hill, set against a scenic backdrop of the region’s mountains and highlands. Smith began working on the project in 2005 by taking photographs and videos of glints of light from her daily walks along New York’s East River.
“It’s an installation that’s completely in conversation with the nature that actually creates it,” Lawrence explained, noting how the work’s flags interacted with the wind and other elements.
As part of an ongoing program to support emerging artists called “Outlooks,” Storm King recently invited New York–based artist Martha Tuttle to install a large-scale temporary outdoor project, A stone that thinks of Enceladus, on the grounds. The work, which is on view through December 13, comprises a series of human-made stone stacks built from boulders gathered around Storm King, along with glass and marble replicas of stones that Tuttle had also collected.


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