Storm King — at 50 — in a Blaze of Color
By Bobbie Leigh
The fall is unquestionably the best time to visit the 500-acre Storm King Art Center, set in the bucolic Hudson River Valley 90 minutes north of New York City. The light, the many shades of green verdant fields and rolling hills, contrasted with trees bursting with color make a fall visit quite magical. To celebrate its founding 50 years ago, 10 new sculptures are now on view. But it’s still the Calder hill, the Mark di Suveros on the South Fields, and the Andy Goldsworthy wall that meanders from one side of a pond to another that are the standouts. Scottish environmental, site-specific sculptor Goldsworthy’s “Storm King Wall” is a powerful presence. His work is, in effect, art “written in stone.” It begins not far from Maya Lin’s “Storm King Wavefield” that is now so overgrown its grasses resemble mid-ocean rolling waves. An informal and totally unscientific tally of visitors on a recent Sunday confirmed that one of the most admired of the new sculptures is Andy Goldsworthy’s 2010 work, “Five Men, Seventeen Days, Fifteen Boulders, One Wall.” A close runner up is Zhang Huan’s monumental “Three Legged Buddha.” One of the sculpture’s three feet rests on a human head, inspired by the artist’s visit to Tibet where the Chinese have tried to stamp out all vestiges of Tibetan culture.
Because the Center sprawls in all directions, a best bet is to take the 40-minute tram ride, getting off and reboarding wherever you like. You can also rent bikes and explore the Center on many pathways. On weekends, the wait at the café can be long, so it’s a good idea to pack a picnic. The Center is located in New York’s Hudson Valley, about an hour’s drive north of the George Washington Bridge. Storm King closes for the season on November 13. The only chance you have to see it covered in snow is in photographs at its museum.
Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY