Andy Goldsworthy
THREE CAIRNS

Museum of
Contemporary Art
San Diego
Summer, 2003
by David Lewinson

Cairn: a heap of stones piled up as a memorial or as a landmark.
 
--Webster's

The importance of Andy Goldsworthy's art lies in the qualities of intimacy, gesture, and performance it brings to Earthworks; a domain typically defined by massive, labor intensive projects. His contribution first appeared in works like Cracked/Broken Pebbles (1978), Tossing Sticks in the Air (1980), and Stacked Sticks (1980), All of these were created using materials found at sites in the Brittish countryside, far from any museum or gallery. As with most Earthworks, Goldsworthy's creativity, both past and present, comes to the world's attention through photographs -- first in art journals and, more recently, in gloriously printed coffee table tomes.

What this exhibition makes clear is that the best of Goldsworthy's art is conveyed to its public far more successfully through journals and books than through museum exhibitions. In this context, the vitality and intimacy of his art are all but lost.

Goldsworthy bears much of the responsibility for this because he seems to have paid almost no attention to where he was. Such, at least, is the impression created by the show in San Diego. 

Next


intro | one | two | three | four | five
front page | image credits


Home ° About ART-WORD.Com And This Issue ° Email Art-Word


All text copyright © 2004 David Lewinson, Art-Word.com
Photographs courtesy of the artist, Haines Gallery,
  Galerie Lelong, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

site designed and maintained by Mind Grind