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Andy Goldsworthy is one of the most well-respected artists in the world. His site-specific work has been featured in locations as close as Stanford University and as far away as the Australian Outback and the North Pole. He first visited the Presidio in 2006 and was immediately taken by the historic architecture, wild landscape and its relationship to the city of San Francisco. Luckily for us, Goldsworthy has found the Presidio to be an inspiring location and with the support of the FOR-SITE Foundation we are fortunate enough to house 4 of his installations. Also luckily for us, all of his installations are located within walking distance from the Inn.
His first piece to be commissioned here at the Presidio was created in 2008 and is entitled Spire. Goldsworthy enlisted to help of the Presidio Trust forestry crew to source 37 felled cypress trunks and create a 15 foot wide and 100 feet tall spire stretching into the sky. The sculpture was created within a grove of young cypress trees which will eventually grow as tall as the sculpture itself.
Goldsworthy’s second installation, created in 2011 can be found along the historic Lovers’ Lane amid an opening in the rows of eucalyptus. This gap was due to the Army’s planting of Monterey Cypress which didn’t fair too well in this climate and eventually died out. Goldsworthy chose this location to create his sculpture entitled, Wood Line. Using eucalyptus trunks this time around, he shaped a curved line (much like the windy curves of Lombard St) which extends more than 1,200 feet on the forest floor. Like many of Goldsworthy’s work of art, this sculpture will deteriorate over time.
In 2013, Goldsworthy returned to the Presidio to create Tree Fall. Unlike his previous Presidio installations, this one is housed indoors in an historic Powder Magazine which dates back to the Civil War. The ceiling is domed for protective purposes and so Goldsworthy decided to utilize this feature to create a sculpture comprised of a tree trunk covered with dried clay from the Presidio. This installation in particular highlights the interplay between natural and built environments. This installation is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Goldsworthy’s latest installation was created in 2014 and is entitled, Earth Wall. Unlike his other pieces, Goldsworthy was inspired by elements of nature that are “beneath the surface.” Located inside the Hardie Courtyard in the Officer’s Club, this piece is comprised of eucalyptus branches in the shape of a sphere that has been buried and then unearth within a wall made of soil from the Presidio.
For more information on Andy Goldsworthy and his connection to the Presidio, a short film and photo booklet is available for view at the Welcome Desk of the Officer’s Club, located just down the street from the Inn. You can also check out this link to view all of the art programs happening in the Presidio.