‘This building is nature, too’ | AspenTimes.com

‘This building is nature, too’

Joel Stonington
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy discusses his work Sunday afternoon at the Doerr-Hosier Center at the Aspen Institute. ( Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)

ASPEN ” Six months after the Aspen Institute’s new conference center was completed, British artist Andy Goldsworthy addressed a crowd of hundreds Sunday in the room through which his sculpture snakes.

Perhaps the most dramatic feature of the $12.5 million Doerr-Hosier Center is the red sandstone wall constructed by Goldsworthy that meanders through a reflecting pool, flows into the center of the building and emerges out the other side to align with the Roaring Fork River.

On Sunday, the stone wall was covered in snow.

“Seeing it with this tube of white… was so exciting,” said Goldsworthy. “It’s far more exciting than I ever thought it would be.”

During an hour-long lecture at the Doerr-Hosier Center the day after a gallery opening of his work, Goldsworthy spoke of his art in general and also about the process of creating the wall.

He said he worked closely with the building’s architect, Jeffrey Berkus. Though Goldsworthy said it can be trying to work with architects and builders, none of the usual friction showed through in comments by either architect or artist.

“You really feel the energy of [Goldsworthy’s] work in this place,” said Berkus, introducing Goldsworthy. “Unbroken from one side of the site to the other.”

Though Goldsworthy envisioned and designed the wall, he did not actually place any of the stones, but rather left that up to the contractors who actually built the wall. That gave him time, as he put it, to work on ephemeral art in Hunter Creek and Woody Creek.

He spent time painting on rocks with water, drawing designs with sticks and building small wooden structures. Photos of the ephemeral works were published in a small chap book entitled “Two Creeks,” free from the Institute.

During the lecture, he spoke about how the ephemeral art fills him up while the more permanent art seems to take away, though both forms of art are important.

“This is nature too,” he said. “This building is nature, too.”


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