Storm King Art Center’s director and curator, David Collens (left) and its chairman, president and co-founder H. Peter Stern (right) look on as president John Stern blows out the sculpture park’s 50th-birthday candles.
I have always wanted to walk into, rather than gaze down upon, Maya Lin‘s Storm King Wavefield, her four-acre commissioned earthwork at Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY.
Last month, I finally got the chance. Meant to surround and envelope visitors, rather than to be viewed at a distance, the undulating earthwork has been largely off-limits to perambulators since its official debut in May 2009, due to the difficulty in maintaining its grass seedings. (Storm King doesn’t use artificial irrigation.)
A couple of weeks ago, I returned to this idyllic sculpture mecca for its 50th-anniversary luncheon celebrating the artists whose works have enriched its collection over the years.
Here’s a group photo of those creators:
At the far left, in the front row, is Ursula von Rydingsvard. Here she is again, touring the grounds with director/curator David Collens:
Her “Luba” is part of the 5+5: New Perspectives exhibition of 12 new and recent works by 10 artists:
The local fauna seem to have adopted this seemingly organic work of cedar, cast bronze and graphite as just another tree:
Standing directly behind von Rydingsvard in the group photo above is our old friend Stephen Talasnik, whom you may remember for his “Little Bamboo” (my name for it, not his) that was the subject of an irreverent CultureGrrl video shot during my June visit to Storm King. These bamboo organisms just keep on propagating: Talasnik’s “Stream a Folded Drawing” has now spawned “Baby Bamboo” (actual title, “Spawn I”). It’s made from materials left over from the original site-specific sculpture that had been commissioned by Storm King:
This weekend and next, the larger of Talasnik’s pieces will be the focus of two dances choreographed by Wally Cardona and Judith Sanchez Ruiz in a program titled Movements Within a Stream.
The work in the “5+5” exhibition that most transfixed me was Darrell Petit‘s 17-foot-high, 44-ton granite “Kiss,” a rough-hewn giant that’s both beautiful and scary in its seeming precariousness:
Darrell Petit, “Kiss,” 2008, lent by the artist
But back to Maya Lin. Her “Storm King Wavefield” is still only partly traversable by foot, but that’s better than merely gazing at it from above or aside, as I had previously experienced it. Visitors may now trod a designated pathway between the waves, but we still can’t surf the crests until the grass seedings gets better established.
Come. Let’s walk it together!