We’ve all been there. One day you realize that you have too much stuff and are running out of space. Do you a) sort everything and donate the surplus to a worthy cause or b) think you haven’t been honing your eye all these years for nothing, and go find more space to display more of what you love?
Happily, the couple profiled in “Art Barn” in the December issue of W Magazine went the latter route, and the result is an almost 400 acre outdoor canvas for site specific works of contemporary art. This private property in New York’s Hudson Valley is the result of a distinct vision and long-standing collaborations between the owners, their architects, and individual artists whose commissions for the property can take years to complete.
Nature is held to a high standard as well: landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh notes that “the mowed topography is the equivalent of white walls in a museum or gallery.”
Roxy Paine’s Fallen Tree is one of the artworks in the collection. I’ve been a fan of Paine’s since discovering an installation of his work in New York City’s Madison Square Park in 2007. For an even better view of the tree on its hilltop site and a selection of other works, watch the video, Forest for the Trees, that accompanies the article.
The property is unfortunately not open to the public at this time, but a select group of museum and art students are invited to visit the shows that are mounted twice a year in the Art Barn. I’d like to tag along!
In the meantime Glenstone, in Potomac, Maryland, is open for the public to tour and I hope to visit this year. The founders have created a 200 acre property that showcases post-World War II art indoors and out, integrating art, architecture and landscape design into a single contemplative experience for visitors. According to the foundation’s mission: “These settings exist to exhibit works of art–created from 1945 through the present–that represent the greatest historical shifts in how art is seen and experienced.”
I plan to write a series of posts on outdoor spaces designed to include art – gardens and parks, private and public – this Spring. Do you have any favorites to recommend?