Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Relocate Stone Field?

A project called "iQuilt" would link the city's downtown attractions.   It would turn the small street connecting Bushnell Park and the Wadsworth Atheneum into a pedestrian-only walkway, and the "Stone Field" sculpture by Carl Andre would be relocated.

I showed Stone Field before.  It is a series of boulders placed in rows on a grassy, triangular plot of land.  At the lowest end, there is a single large boulder.  As the sculpture moves uphill, the boulders become smaller and one more boulder is added to the rows . . . 1,2, 3 . . . onward.  It has always prompted a debate about "Is this art?"

To illustrate Stone Field, I took a picture of an older man sitting on a boulder.  I cropped it distant above and close below.  The first emphasizes the boulders.  The second emphasizes the man. Which do you like for this post?  And, do you think moving the boulders would defile the art, or do you think it is not art so who cares, or do you think it is OK to move the boulders even if it is art?




24 comments:

Bruce Clark said...

I suppose its art to the artist and to other people. However I don`t see it as art but as the saying goes "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

VP said...

Dribbling the debate about art, I think the world would be able to cope with the rearranging of these boulders on another slope.

brattcat said...

for this post i like the shot where we get a deeper field, to get a sense of the size of the installation. this is a 'bolder' sort of art and you all seem to be stuck between 'a rock and hard place' trying to work this out. btw, thanks, jack, for your very kind words about my blog. you make me smile and smile.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I say leave the boulders alone, what's the deal are they in the way of something? If people can't appreciate them for art at least they do make excellent seats for little old men to sit and eat their lunch!! I've seen way more bizarre things in art galleries being taken seriously (not by moi I might add) I also like the deeper field shot Jack that gives you an idea of the size of the boulders.

Halcyon said...

DO NOT MOVE THE ART.
Now that I've said that. :) I like the first crop better which highlights the boulders. The man also makes an interesting subject, but I prefer the art in this case. And if I didn't get my point across, I think it would be a shame to move this lovely piece. Especially as it seems to be popular with people. Which is how I think art should be.

Jacob said...

We have lots of these artistic fields in this part of the country with lovely limestone rocks. (We don't call 'em boulders). Nor do we call 'em art. We jest likes 'em.

Art, they say, is in the eye of the boulder, er, beholder.

Re your comment on women's bikes: You're a very brave man to say such a thing! :-)

joo said...

Well, art or not, it's superb. I like the photo of this man 'contemplating' art:)

Sharon said...

I bet the guy who has to cut the grass here hates those boulders.
I like the first photo better for this story.

Lynette said...

I like the wide shot better. I also can't imagine why anyone would think it was OK to move the boulders away from this site. They are where the artist intended for them to be. Leave them alone. Put mention of their location and existence as art on the advertising for the "iQuilt"--that's like iPhone? Is it going to be an app? Of is it just "Quilt" with a typo? Sorry, had to ask, Jack.

Lynette said...

Oh, please keep us posted about what happens. And could you go back when the leaves are not on the trees and there is snow all around and take more photos, both from this direction and from the opposite direction, please? I'm very curious about this. Thanks!

Malyss said...

I suppose someone paid the artist for those rocks? so they became art, and the field became the place of that master piece. I try to put myself on a legal point of view to stay objective. But If you want my subjective advice, those rocks are rocks and could be rocks as well anywhere else..

Luis Gomez said...

I think it is an interesting piece. I would leave it there. I like the first image better showing the piece and its size. Second one is great as a portrait.

Kate said...

Art is an expression of someone's imagination and need not be bound by traditional definitions of what is or is not acceptable. Sometimes art forms are found in nature and are identified or rearranged through human imagination. I see no reason why boulders cannot be considered as much of art as a Michelangelo or any of the Old Masters or Pollock or Warhole...or Ansel Adams. Move the boulders?? Ask the artist for the final word. I do not prefer one photo over the other; I like each for different reasons.

Virginia said...

I was drawn to the tighter shot because portraiture is my "thang Baby", but after reading the comments, maybe the wider shot better illustrates the problem at hand. Oh I don't know Jack. I'm not sure I call it art but if nothing else it's nature and does make for some fun playing for the kids and a spot to sit and ponder or have lunch for the older crowd. And, it'll cost a blooming fortune to move those things. Leave 'em.
V

lizziviggi said...

Ooh, so many questions! I second Lynnette's request to see this again, covered in snow. I like the longer shot, like the others, but I differ on the subject of whether or not to move them. If the boulders are going to be moved to a new place where they will still be appreciated, and allow for a connection between parks to make it more accessible, I'm all for that! As for whether or not it's art, all I can say is I know this would be a favorite spot for my kids-- it would look like a playground, not art, to them!

Sylvia K said...

As someone else wrote, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, frankly, I like the boulders! I particularly like the first overall capture because it gives a real feel for the place as a whole. But the one focusing on the elderly gentleman has a very personal feel to it -- both great, just different. Whichever one prefers, they're both terrific captures as always, Jack! Hope your week is going well!

Sylvia

RedPat said...

I like both shots but the 1st one probably shows the installation better. I think if they must be moved it would be okay only if the artist was involved in all aspects of the move. Maybe the new location could be even better - who knows.

Tash said...

So it's an art installation not a decorative landscaping project. Either way, as long as they do move the stones and place them again somewhere, I'd be OK with it. Looks like only a few are convenient for sitting.
Let's see...which photo do I like better...1st for showing the park...2nd (could be even closer) for the wonderful (seemingly annoyed) expression you caught on the elderly gentleman.

Pet said...

Art I don't know, but a stone field yes it is.

Clueless in Boston said...

Oh, you mean those weren't dropped by one of the retreating glaciers eons ago? I agree there are a lot more questionable art in galleries and museums than a few boulders on a hill. Of course moving them might prove a sisyphean task.

Regina K said...

I am fond of the depth in the tpp photo. I like the boulders, and would think moving them occasionally would bring new interest in the installment.

JM said...

I like this stone field, have not seen it before.

Bob Pencil said...

If you have little time just scroll down.

Art is not found in nature, art is made by man. Before making any kind of judgemant take the time, oh what 10 - 15 mins at least to educate yourselves on his work and on minimalism. Oh for heavens sake 10-15 min is nothing people. Go see some of Andre's work, and oh yes take some more time and look at his stone field. Comments from the uneducated are not only usless they should have no bearing on anything, most people dont know about minimalism so there is no mojority to leverage any judgement. Turn off the TV this statment goes for anything we need to know...

To move 36 1/2 ton to 1 ton boulders from where ever they came from and install would indeed cost 87k. Talking heavy equipment here folks big dollar. Minimal works included many "earth works" Look up "Spiral Jetty". Yikes that would take some heavy dollar these days.

Final statement :

If one does not want to spend the time educating oneself about anything, then
don't spend the time whining about stuff you don't know anything about.

Catherine M said...

I suppose I don't understand why anyone would want to mess with the Stone Field. Is that plot of land needed for something else?

I think the Stone Field belongs to the people who paid for it. If that was the town, then the taxpayers paid for it. If the taxpayers want to destroyer their own property, it is their privilege to do so, just as they could tear down publicly owned buildings or repurpose a public park.

Art is wonderful but it isn't sacred, is it? No, it is just "stuff" like park benches and buildings. It shouldn't be vandalized (damaged by someone who doesn't own it), but if the owner gets rid of it, that isn't vandalism. It would be as valid a choice as keeping it, so long as the choice is made by the rightful owner of the piece of art.