At Storm King, the Nature of Light

General / People / Places / April 9, 2012

One hour north of the George Washington Bridge, on 500 sylvan acres and inside a rural stone house museum, visitors to the Storm King Art Center will soon be able to see an exhibit that examines the nature of light itself, stretched out over the summer and fall months.

“We want people to look at the art not in a single moment, but over a longer-term viewing period,” says curator Nora Lawrence.  “We want them to look at the work, but to look at Storm King as well – as a rural art experience.”

The center is located in the lower Hudson Valley and was originally envisioned as a tribute to Hudson River Valley painters like Winslow Homer, who worked mightily to capture the nature of light in his artwork.

Light and Landscape continues this tradition, demonstrating some of the intriguing ways that artists consider and use natural light today.

“We want people to slow down in their viewing and to contemplate things,” she says.  “We encourage visitors to return to the exhibition over the course of the Storm King season in order to experience the ways in which the works change with alterations in light – not only in morning to dusk, but from May through November.”

About 25 works will be on display, in the environment and within the house museum as well.  Among them is one conceptual work by Peter Coffin on the nature of bees and honey.  He’ll be hiring a beekeeper to demonstrate how bees use natural light to direct themselves, and ask a simple question: “What does the sun taste like?”  The answer will lie within a sample taste of honey.

Inside the house will be an 18-inch high cast glass sculpture by artist Roni Horn, with a top that has been fire-polished to make it as shiny and smooth as liquid.  Both the sculpture and the floor beneath it will change colors constantly, depending on the quality of the sunlight entering the gallery.  Surrounding the sculpture will be 22 photographs of one person, each changing subtly with nuanced natural lighting filtering through the windows.

“Storm King has this beautiful natural light that comes with the power of the sun,” Lawrence says.  “This kind of show couldn’t happen anywhere else.”

There are plenty who agree.  Last year, about 75,000 people – from New York, New Hampshire and Connecticut – visited Mountainville and the center named for Storm King Mountain on site.

The new exhibit runs from May 12 to Nov. 11.

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Mike Welton

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1 Comment

on April 11, 2012

Can’t wait to see this! We will be in the area the first week of September and will definitely revisit Storm King. Our first experience there was exhiliarating! We were blessed to have Wally McGuire as our tour guide. What a great teacher he is! He had all of us (children included) fully engaged with learning about every sculpture!

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