Andy Goldsworthy’s “Roof”

Lens: "Roof" by Andy Goldsworthy; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2011


04 March 2011

The first photograph that you view on my blog, which is part of the masthead, was taken at the National Gallery of  Art. I never travel without my camera; it’s a constant companion that forces me to be in perpetual “viewing” mode. Because I am a voyeur of the human and natural landscapes, I stay alert to what they have to offer. The 2009 spring trip to Washington, D.C. was to meet a friend, and our excursion included galleries and museums where photographic exhibitions were on display. But that did not stop us from popping into various other venues.

Andy Goldsworthy is an artist of international fame whose work is primarily outdoor site-specific nature-inspired interpretations. I’ve been a fan for years. His use of natural materials to make ephemeral and iconic sculpture originally drew me to his work. The world-wide acceptance of Goldsworthy as an artist is a huge feat. Much to my delight the National Gallery of Art had purchased one of his works for its permanent collection. Fortunately, during our visit the work had been newly-installed in the museum’s Sculpture Garden. Because the work swallows the entire physical space of the garden, you must view it from inside glass windows (ground floor where I took the photograph), or on the upper mezzanine where you can view the eye of each of the nine creations–every one is six feet high and 27 feet in diameter–as well as outside over a retaining wall.

Under my blog’s name is a cropped version of the original photograph that I took on that brightly lit day. I was ambivalent. How would shooting the sculpture through the glass give an authentic sense of the work? To my surprise the result was a study in formation and undulation that is reminiscent of Mother Nature during her exuberant hours of creation. In actuality Goldsworthy used the dome as his inspiration–a theme that he has interpreted with raw materials such as ice and leaves. For this work he was inspired by the capitol’s architectural forms that are replete with massive stone structures, and spread across Washington’s D.C.’s concrete expanse. “Roof” is a stunning salute to the intersection of nature and human nature.

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9 Responses to Andy Goldsworthy’s “Roof”

  1. Superb post. Thank you for liking my post (thanksgiving). Best regards, jalal

  2. First- thanks for “liking” my post Bloomers and Butterflies. Second- I learn something new from just about every blog that I read/view. And, your blog about Mr. Goldsworthy is educational without being too informative and just enough to now have piqued my interest in this notable artist. Thank you for motivating me to broaden my knowledge base.

    • I am delighted that you could discover Andy Goldsworthy through my post. There are so many dimensions to his artistic philosophy. Mostly, he is a dedicated advocate of Mother Nature, which drew me to his land art. Thanks.

  3. My first impression, before I read your description, was that I was looking at a closeup of a piece of pottery. Funny what a change in scale can do to our perceptions.

    Steve Schwartzman

  4. free sms says:

    It is such a pleasure to tell you that entire topics what you have talked about above, is going to help me from time to time. The idea and drafting of this article is going to be proved as an excellent guideline for those who are trying to start their writing career.And yes i have bookmarked your site .

  5. Marianne Green says:

    I think this is a very sensual picture, whether intended or not!

  6. Nancy says:

    Beautiful photo – I’m a Goldsworthy fan too. You will love his work in SF’s Presidio and the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park!

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