Here are some dry facts about Storm King, what you'll get from a Google search. It's a world-renowned outdoor sculpture park about an hour from New York City in the Hudson River Valley, and it's been around for about fifty years. I'd never heard of it before, but Glen and Jodi learned about it after watching a documentary on the British sculptor and photographer Andy Goldsworthy. A lot of his work is environmentalist site-specific sculpture and land art, and there is a famous wall there that Jodi and Glen wanted to go look at. The wall was winding and strange, and, in my opinion, the best part about it was its odd name, which I believe was "Seventeen Days, Five Men, Five Boulders".
But of course words, as is the case so often in the plastic arts, don't do the work or the space justice. You have to see it to experience it, and it's very much worth the day trip from New York. There are green forests and mountains with ridiculous, sad, and lovely names like Shunnemonk Mountain, names that speak tragically of the mostly vanished Lenni Lenape people of the region. There are sculptures made out of giant pieces of cedar, rough and hewn like obdurate cliff faces but redolent of the smell of pine forests. Gentle hills close upon the horizon and then open up to reveal new spaces, so that before you know it you've walked into an entirely different section of the park, huge feet and broken hands scattered across the grass and flowers like some gutted god left to rot in peace in the park.
But there are also moonlit tours on offer and bike rentals for making your way around the more distant pathways, none of which is particularly steep. Either way, by moonlight or in the Autumn when the leaves are a burning panoply of colors across the mountains of the vanished Lenni Lenape (and perhaps the sight will explain why they dubbed their mountain Shunnemonk, or an "excellent fireplace"), I'd like to go back and just quietly look without any thought of who might look at me, looking at it.
1. For more information on Storm King, check out their website here or this excellent article in Vogue that closely mirrored our impression as a group, especially when it cites the sculptor Zhang Huan's work as a respite from all the modernism on display. Despite posing in front of his three-legged Buddha like the silly tourists we were that day, we also agreed he was our favorite artist in the park. At least that visit he was... We'll definitely all be going back!
2. The artist Glen Farley's work can also be viewed here.