A prominent figure on the global art scene and part of the Land Art movement, British artist Andy Goldsworthy has been exploring all sorts of natural environments and landscapes since the late 1970s, instilling them with exquisitely subtle works fashioned from elements found in nature, in total harmony with their specific settings.
Andy Goldsworthy sculpts ice and snow, builds stone arches, prunes branches, composes using oak or maple leaves, arranges dandelion flowers or assembles pebbles. He works with the elements, the sun, rain or the sea, and makes the most of the seasons to express his art.
“Each pile is much more than the sum of its parts. There are cairns of light, of colour, of cold, of water ... and of stone. Between them I have brought together the moonlight, the setting sun, the rising tide and the hard frost.” Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy is a composer who takes fresh approaches to nature, guided by his imagination. His projects have taken him to the US, Australia, Japan, France, and even the North Pole. But his favourite playground is still Scotland, where he has lived for the past twenty odd years.
Toying with the stump of a chopped down plane tree, from which a few new shoots have dared to grow afresh, the artist has designed a new cairn for Chaumont-sur-Loire, in which stone and vegetation interact in an embrace that grows ever more intimate as the years pass.
Andy Goldsworthy, 2011 - © Chris George, Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Lelong, New York
Born in 1956 in Cheshire, Great Britain, Andy Goldsworthy grew up near Leeds in Yorkshire where he began to work in the farms around as a teenager. Working the land and the countryside left a lasting impression on him. He studied at Bradford Art College in 1974 and 1975 and then at Preston Polytechnic in Lancaster from 1975 to 1978 where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.
Andy Goldsworthy was awarded an honorary degree from Bradford University in 1993 and became an Honorary Member of the University of Central Lancashire in 1995.
Since 1986, Goldsworthy has lived in Penpont in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and has set up his studio in an old stone building. He works across a wide variety of natural surroundings and countries.
Permanent site-specific installations by Goldsworthy are on exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York; Storm King Art Center, in Mountainville, New York State; Stanford University in Palo Alto, California; the Presidio, San Francisco; Digne-les-Bains, in the Haute-Provence geological nature reserve; St. Louis Art Museum, Saint-Louis, State of Missouri; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York State; Conondale Range Great Walk, Conondale National Park, Queensland, Australia; and in many other places. His works have been presented in major solo exhibitions at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, in the United Kingdom; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and Des Moines Art Center.