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Saint Louis Art Museum announces sculpture commission by artist Andy Goldsworthy
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. Image courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum.
SAINT LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum announces the commission of Stone Sea by world-renowned British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The sculpture will be 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 set to open on June 29-30, 2013.

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 is installing arches to produce a sense of fluidity reminiscent of 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.”

Throughout the fall of 2012, Goldsworthy will be on site at the Museum to install the sculptural work of 24 arches, constructed of roughly cut Missouri limestone. The artist has chosen to fabricate the 10-foot high arches using stone from the local Earthworks Quarry in Perryville, Missouri.

“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 four 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.”

Andy Goldsworthy has shown internationally in more than 200 solo and group exhibitions. Born in Cheshire, England in 1956, and currently living in Scotland, he has produced permanent site-specific works for American museums such as the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and the de Young Museum, San Francisco. His art is also featured in the collections of the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Tate, London; and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, United Kingdom, among others. The artist is represented by Galerie Lelong.

The installation is curated by Simon Kelly, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Tricia Y. Paik, assistant curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. The Stone Sea commission has been privately funded by a consortium of St. Louis donors.

On the occasion of the June 2013 opening of the Museum’s new East Building, the installation of outdoor sculpture will feature Goldsworthy's site-specific commission, along with works from the Museum’s collection, including sculpture by Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, and George Rickey.





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