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 Andy Goldsworthy  (1956 - )

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Lived/Active: New York / United Kingdom      Known for: sculpture-site specific environmental

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Ad Code: 3
Andy Goldsworthy
from Auction House Records.
Line to follow colours in pebbles, St. Abbs, The Borders
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy was born in 1956 in Cheshire, England. Since 1986, he has lived in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. He studied at Bradford Art College and Preston Polytechnic. He has traveled the world, including the North Pole, Australian outback, the United States and Japan, experimenting with the differing climates and materials. Unlike artists for thousands of years seeking to make art that will survive, Goldsworthy, like many contemporary artists, thinks of his work as temporary.

Upon completion of a work, he will take a photograph of it as documentation. His apparent purpose is to understand nature by using it as the material of his art, whether twigs, leaves, stones, snow and ice, reeds and thorns.

Goldsworthy comments on his art: "I enjoy the freedom of just using my hands and 'found' tools--a sharp stone, the quill of a feather, thorns. I take the opportunities each day offers: if it is snowing, I work with snow, at leaf-fall it will be with leaves; a blown-over tree becomes a source of twigs and branches. I stop at a place or pick up a material because I feel that there is something to be discovered. Here is where I can learn." (

One summer, the artist placed one-ton snowballs around the City Of London. Made with the previous winter's snow, they each contained a different substancehair, feathers, flowersthat was revealed when the snow melted. His "Rain Shadows" were made by lying on a road or street in the rain, then getting up after a time to outline in chalk the dry shape of his body like a corpse at a crime scene. This work has been created in the United States, Australia, Denmark and France.

In 2001, Stanford University, in Palo Alto, California, commissioned Goldsworthy, with the help of eight professional stone workers imported from Scotland and England, to create "Stone River", a shallow, 320-foot-long trench filled with 6,500 stones left over from earthquake destruction of campus buildings in 1906 and 1989.

Inspired by the New Mexico landscape, Andy Goldsworthy did a site-specific work, "Two Rivers," as a part of SITE Santa Fe in 2000. In the summer and fall of 2004, his work titled "Stone Houses" was installed on the roof terrace of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the "Met's first foray into site-specific art". ("New York Times") It is two stone cairns, each 24 feet in diameter and was commissioned by Gerald B Cantor

Andy Goldsworthy's book "Time" is published by Thames & Hudson.

Roberta Smith, 'The Met and a Guest Step Off in Opposite Directions', "New York Times", September 3, 2004

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