Located in Mountainville, NY, Storm King extends the idea of a sculpture garden to an entire landscape, beautifully celebrating the relationship between nature and art. Founded in 1960 by Ralph E. Ogden and H. Peter Stern, the outdoor museum was originally intended for the Hudson River School. But it’s founders soon became dedicated to modern sculpture, and began purchasing pieces to place directly in the landscape.
Unencumbered by walls, the artworks are set within a magnificent exhibition space created by the distant mountains, the waving fields, and native woodlands of Storm King. The striking view of a sculpture from across the field, half a mile away with the mountains rising behind it is considered just as carefully as the native plants that surround its immediate location. Monumental steel i-beam sculptures from Mark di Suvero, playful pieces by Alexander Calder, and rolling land art by Maya Lin are just a few of the artworks that dot the outdoor museum. The sculptures are affected by the weather and the seasons, ensuring that no two visits will ever be the same experience.
Through November 13, 2011, Storm King Art Center is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with two special exhibits. One is an exhibition in the museum building of Storm King’s history, and the other is the outdoor exhibit, 5+5 New Perspectives, a collection of ten new works from different artists. Five of the artists are already represented in the collection, while the other five are new. The pieces range from a curving tunnel made from 3,000 bamboo poles by Stephen Talasnik to a Stongehenge-esque sculpture by Darrell Petit created from two massive blocks of granite. The special exhibit began last year, but it was so popular that Storm King extended it through 2011.
Storm King is a great place to take children, as it is a fabulous way to introduce young kids to art without the boring white walls and confining spaces of museums / galleries. By merging amazing art with beautiful landscape and wide-open spaces, Storm King appeals to visitors of all ages. I took my two year old, Petey to Storm King in 2010 and he loved it!
For those of you who can’t make it up to the Hudson Valley, don’t fret. Until September 25, Storm King has lent a collection of its Mark di Suervo sculptures to Governors Island. More than half a dozen of di Suvero’s spatially dynamic pieces are situated across the 172-acre island, making it the largest outdoor presentation of the artist’s work in the city since 1970. The urban background of the city provides a stark contrast to the rural lands of Storm King, while highlighting di Suvero’s use of industrial salvaged steel.