Saturday, December 16, 2006

Self-Taught Art Critic--a New Sideline


Self-Taught Artist steered me to the work of Andy Goldsworthy. So I decided to look over his work. I found a book a Border's that wasn't shrink-wrapped and had a look while sitting in the cafe. At first I had trouble warming up to his stuff. Some of it feels contrived to me. I recall there were pieces with petals or leaves glued together with the artist's saliva.
I did find a public domain photo of one of Goldsworthy's sculptures that does resonate with me a bit more (see photo above).
Maybe I am provincial and like the stone work better because it is not ephemeral. As I have said before I also like stone and the piece in the picture begs for one to walk around it and look closely at each piece of stone and admire the construction. Many people have compared Goldsworthy's stone piles to cairns, which I have seen on many hikes in the mountains.
These little cairns I saw on a hike in Zion National Park. I think the park rangers take them down; I'm not sure why.
Small cairns in Zion National Park
Goldsworthy's work brings to mind two other artists that I am vaguely aware of. I stumbled onto the work of Patrick Dougherty in Lacoste, Provence, France two years ago. It looked like bundles of twigs (which it is). It was an outdoor exhibit which we only glimpsed over a wall but which was so distinctive that when I saw a reference to Dougherty's work in a magazine, I recognized it instantly. I have seen Dougherty's sculptures referred to as environmental sculpture.
The third artist that came to my mind is Christo. I was rather cynical of his work (and still am to a degree) but happened to be in Paris in 1985 when the Pont Neuf was wrapped. It was a most amazing sight. The Pont is a remarkable bridge in the first place and the wrapping made it seem somehow organic. Check out this web site for photos of Le Pont Neuf Emballe.

1 comment:

Self Taught Artist said...

I applaud your taking on a new artist and being a 'critic'. I've seen a DVD of Andy doing his thing and it amazed me the patience he had. Also tried to watch one on Christo, my friend just read a book about the years involved in getting those projects done and I can't stand even hearing about it but he is FASCINATED..all too grand and obscure for me but that is another post eh?

Sometimes I think I appreciate the patience of Goldsworthy's work more than anything else;which is true for most art I see.That and his ability to let something morph into another state and not be so attached to how long it lasts.

Usually it isn't the art itself that draws you to it but whatever was behind it. (my opinion once again)

Love the photos above this post!