Galerie Lelong is pleased to present Andy Goldsworthy: Leaning into the Wind, an exhibition of photographs and films juxtaposing Goldsworthy’s raw, early days of exploration of action and process with never-before-seen works from the last three years that return to the focus on the artist’s use of his body. The artist will be present for the opening reception on Thursday, October 22 from 6-8pm.
For Goldsworthy, the use of his own body has been an essential part of his practice since the beginning of his career, yet this is an aspect that has not been as shown or published as widely as many of his other ephemeral works. Actions such as throwing, spitting, and burying himself can be traced to the earliest days of Goldsworthy’s art-making practice, and have re-emerged in the last few years with a new power and frequency. For the first time in five years, Goldsworthy has produced a full body of photographic and film works that will fill the main gallery. The new works will be shown in relation to vintage work (1970s/1980s), presented in the side gallery, many of which will be on view for the first time and will comprise the most extensive selection shown to date.
In both the vintage and new works, Goldsworthy’s use of his body is a form of education, learning by touch in order to understand his materials. He does not have a pre-planned or intended outcome but is instead motivated by the process itself. Goldsworthy said in reflection of his early work: “When I began working outside, I had to establish instincts and feelings for Nature… I needed a physical link before a personal approach and relationship could be formed. I splashed in water, covered myself in mud, went barefoot and woke with the dawn.” Many of the basic tenets of Goldsworthy’s practice formed in this early period are centered on the development of an intimate and physical relationship with nature and the importance of process. Early on, photographs were not his intention, but rather a medium to record his investigation
and process, but over time, the use of the camera became essential to his exploration.
In recent years, Goldsworthy has used his body with a new energy and ability to go deeper into his practice. Goldsworthy’s new work sees the artist spitting, entering a stone, and engaging in an uneasy hedge crawl, among other actions, that further explore his relationship with nature. In each work, Goldsworthy seeks to tap into an energy that is met with a resistance, a new set of problems, and friction that Goldsworthy encounters in all of his work. The points of tension—the unknown—drive the creative investigation. It is exactly this resistance, inherent in the act of the making the work, that informs all of Goldsworthy’s practice, including his sculptural works. The photographs and films of this exhibition document the process of his experimental way into his work.
Since his last exhibition at Galerie Lelong in 2010, Goldsworthy has completed numerous public and private commissions including: Stone Sea at the St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri; Path and Rising Stone at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Strangler Cairn at the Conondale Range Great Walk, Conondale National Park, Queensland, Australia; and Wood Line at The Presidio, San Francisco, California. On October 1, Goldsworthy will be honored by Storm King Art Center, home of the artist’s celebrated Storm King Wall. Abrams Books recently published Andy Goldsworthy: Ephemeral Works 2004-2014. Goldsworthy is currently in production of a new film with renowned director, Thomas Riedelsheimer, following the acclaimed 2001 documentary of Goldsworthy, Rivers & Tides. The artist was born in Cheshire, England in 1956, and is based in Scotland.