Where To Get Your Art Fix Outdoors This Summer
Eight places to check out if you prefer your sculptures al fresco
Left to right: “Almost Snow Plow”, 1973/1974, “Nervures Minces”, 1983 and “Little Janey-Waney”, 1964-1976 by Mr Alexander Calder on the Calder-terrace at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Photograph by Kim Hansen, courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York/DACS London
It’s funny to imagine our descendants looking over the ruins of our grand works of outdoor art around the world and scratching their hologram heads trying to figure out our values and beliefs. What will their AI computing machines make of Mr Andy Goldsworthy’s intricately patterned rock walls, for example, snaking their way through a copse of maple and oak trees at the Storm King Art Center in New York? What Stonehengey mysticism might future human types attribute to Mr Joan Miró’s Labyrinth at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence?
What’s even more fun is attempting to get our analogue brains around them now. With the summer settling in around us, there’s no better time to log out of our increasingly digital matrix, get outside and spend some time wandering around the installations and land artworks at home and abroad to see what we as a species have built (and what will remain after we’ve gone). These are heavy thoughts, sure, but fleeting – like us – and they do tend to pair well with a crisp rosé in the sunshine.
Hakone Open-Air Museum, Japan
Left to right: “Grande Statue de la Force”, “Grande Statue de la Victoire”, “Grande Statue de la Liberté” and “Grande Statue de l’Éloquence”, 1918-22 by Mr Émile-Antoine Bourdelle at the Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan. Photograph by Shutterstock
Just outside Tokyo, in the shadows of Mount Fuji, Hakone Open-Air Museum, the first of its kind in Japan, has been open year-round since 1969. It is as much about its 70,000-plus square metres of gardens as it is about the man-made works arranged there. Among them, Hakone boasts one of three monumental casts of Mr Auguste Rodin’s “Monument To Balzac”, one of the early masterworks of modern sculpture, as well as an entire pavilion dedicated to Mr Pablo Picasso and one of the largest collections of sculptures by Mr Henry Moore.
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Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, US
“Untitled (Gem)”, 2018 by Ms Virginia Overton at the Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City. Photograph by Mr Nicholas Knight, courtesy the Artist, Socrates Sculpture Park, Bortolami Gallery, and White Cube
Just across the East River from Manhattan, around the corner from the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, Queens, the Socrates Sculpture Park, founded in 1986 by the sculptor Mr Mark di Suvero, has one of the most dramatic backdrops (the New York skyline) of any museum. It also has a vibrant exhibition programme and commissions public artworks from some of the world’s leading sculptors. On now and throughout the summer: a southern-inflected series of pieces by the Nashville-born artist Ms Virginia Overton.
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Storm King Art Center, New York, US
Works by Mr Mark di Suvero in the South Fields at Storm King Art Center, New York. Photograph by Mr Jerry L Thompson, courtesy of Storm King Art Center
With about 500 acres of forest, rolling hills, grass meadows, creeks and ponds all dotted with monumental artworks, many of them in direct conversation with their setting, the Storm King Art Center can feel a bit post- (or pre-) human. Even when you see another sentient being rambling about the grounds, they’re often far enough away to leave you undisturbed in your reverie with, say, the wonderful lawn waves of Ms Maya Lin’s “Wave Field” or an Easter Island head (really), a sudden spider by Ms Louise Bourgeois, Mr Roy Lichtenstein’s fibreglass mermaid or any of the magnificently hallucinogenic pieces by Mr Andy Goldsworthy.
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Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence, France
“La Montagne”, 1955-1956 by Ms Germaine Richier in the gardens of the Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence. Photograph by Mr Hubert Fanthomme/Paris Match via Getty Images. © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2018
Conceived as a retreat, exhibition space and hangout spot for his artist pals and clients, including Messrs Juan Miró, Alexander Calder, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall and Alberto Giacommetti, Mr Aimé Maeght’s foundation just outside Saint-Paul de Vence in southern France is one of those classic sum-greater-than-its-parts places. Though nominally designed by the Spanish architect and Le Corbusier acolyte Mr Josep Lluís Sert, everything here is a collaboration: with Mr Braque on the pool, with Mr Giacommetti (whose gaunt structures stalk the grounds) on the garden, with Mr Miró on the artist’s “Labyrinth”. And not forgetting the region’s magical light and lavender-scented breezes, by artists unknown.
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Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark
Left and centre: “Venus de Meudon”, 1956 and “Concretion humaine sur coupe ovale”, 1948 by Mr Jean Arp. Photograph by Mr Kim Hansen, courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. © DACS 2018. Right: “Reclining Figure No. 5”, 1963–4 by Mr Henry Moore at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Photograph by Mr Kim Hansen, courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. © The Henry Moore Foundation. All rights reserved, DACS/www.henry-moore.org 2018
In 1958, long before the flattering juxtapositions made mundane by Instagram, placing masterpieces in line with your auntie’s travel photos, Danish cheesemonger Mr Knud W Jensen created the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art around a novel idea, which he called the “sauna principle”, ie hot and then cold. When guests visited the grounds of the country house Mr Jensen bought (and named after the three wives of its previous owner, all of whom were names Louise), he would give them the hot, or well-known, classical artists with whom they were familiar and then hit them with a splash of the cold, or new, less familiarly palatable artists of the time, among them Messrs Francis Bacon, Max Ernst, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol.
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Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York, US
“Hot Dog Bus”, 2018 by Mr Erwin Wurm. Photograph by Ms Liz Ligon, courtesy Public Art Fund, NY. Courtesy of the artist, K11 Art Foundation Hong Kong, KÖNIG GALERIE Berlin, and Lehmann Maupin New York and Hong Kong
It’s hard to think of a better emblem of New York than the food-truck hot dog. And, for our money, there is no better, wittier rendition of the ethic, aesthetic and, ahem, resulting effect of the fast-food staple than Mr Erwin Wurm’s “Hot Dog Bus” on display at the Brooklyn Bridge Park over the summer. Mr Wurm’s playfully overstuffed Minion is a reconstructed vintage Volkswagen camper van that functions as a food cart in an incredibly enviable location. Run, don’t walk – because, calories. And, of course, the view. Really, if you don’t Instagram this piece this summer, your family might request proof of life.
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Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, US
Photograph by Mr Benjamin Benschneider, courtesy of Seattle Art Museum
Ten years ago, as the tide of development in downtown Seattle was turning towards the waterfront, the Seattle Art Museum made an incredible move to secure the last remaining plot along Elliot Bay. The resulting 8.5-acre Olympic Sculpture Park, now the largest green space in heart of the city, is one of the best places to get outdoors in town. It is also one of the best places to see art. Swooping structures by Messrs Alexander Calder and Mark di Suvero, as well as site-specific commissions from Mr Roy McMakin and the late, great Ms Louise Bourgeois, anchor the permanent collection, which is girded on one side by the Puget Sound and a glimpse of Mount Rainer and the Olympic mountain range to the southeast.
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Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK
“Iron Tree”, 2013 by Mr Ai Weiwei. Photograph by Mr Jonty Wilde, courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park
When it comes to open-air museums, Moore is more and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park has some of the most extraordinary pieces by Mr Henry Moore you’ll ever see, with gentle hills and dales rolling southwards behind them to boot. If you make it to the north this summer to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Britain’s first sculpture park, be sure to visit Mr Ai Weiwei’s awe-inspiring “Circle Of Animals/Zodiac Heads”, on display until next June. But whenever you go – later this summer, this decade or the next – the permanent collection, which includes works by Ms Barbara Hepworth and Mr Andy Goldsworthy, the bewitching “One & Other” by Sir Antony Gormley and the “Deer Shelter Skyspace” created by Mr James Turrell, will be there to greet you. Comforting, that.
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