Drive an hour north of New York City and you’ll quickly notice the landscape morphing away from a concrete jungle and into a bucolic vista.
Rolling hills shoulder the meandering Hudson River drawing you upstate and into the heart of wild country. This area of the Hudson Valley is home to Storm King Art Centre, a 500 acre outdoor sculpture park established in 1960 by Ralph E Ogden and H Peter Stern.
Named after Storm King Mountain, which overlooks the Hudson River in Cornwall on Hudson, the art centre’s mission is to exhibit, acquire, borrow and conserve modern and contemporary art, with a focus on large-scale sculpture sited in an expansive landscape, to create a dynamic and unique place to explore art in nature.
From the North Woods via Museum Hill to South Fields, visitors can expect to come across sculptures ranging from colossal structures by Mark di Suvero, intimate bronze figures from Saul Baizerman and iconic pieces by Alexander Calder which perfectly pop against the rural backdrop. Flutters of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore introduce a European sensibility to the landscape whilst a strong American artistic line-up can be found from Louise Nevelson, Forrest Myers and Grace Knowlton, a local artist from New York.
Exhibiting sculptures out in the open, surrounded by nature creates a unique way to interact with art. The contrast between man-made materials like steel and brass with the softness of the surrounding forests and rolling hills creates the perfect balance between man and nature. There is a sense of purity as well when regarding the sculptures in their locations, as well as curiosity; did the sculpture grow out of the ground, how did they get there? They feel reminiscent of ancient sites such as Stonehenge and the monolithic sculptures on Easter Island. Most of all, Storm King Art Centre has curated art in a way that makes it accessible to all. Take a walk on the wild side, you may be surprised by what you come across on your travels.