Waves in the Mountains

Submitted by Deborah Cramer

Waves in the Mountains
Maya Lin
Storm King Wavefield, 2007-2008
Earth and grass
240,000 square feet (11 acre site)
Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York
Photograph © Jerry L. Thompson

Maya Lin’s new sculpture, located in an 11-acre pasture at the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York, consists of long rows of undulating dirt and grass “waves,” each 10 – 15 feet high. The Wavefield both evokes the feeling and scale of ocean swells far offshore, and at the same time echoes the surrounding hills.

Made of land, it represents water, while the nearby hills are made of land that actually was once part of the sea. These hills, the Hudson Highlands, are the deep core of the Appalachians. More than one billion years old, they were built from an ocean basin that existed long before the Atlantic, and long before the Atlantic’s predecessor, Iapetus. When an ancient continent, Rodinia (“motherland” in Russian) was built, these mountains were raised.

Waves in the Mountains
Andy Goldsworthy
Storm King Wall, 1997-98
Approx. 5 x 2,278 feet
Site-specific sculpture created for Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York
Photo: Jerry L. Thompson
© Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York
© Andy Goldsworthy, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Glaciers broke up and scoured pieces of bedrock from the hills, making the 1,579 tons of field stone that went into Andy Goldsworthy’s wall, not far from Lin’s Wavefield. The wall, 2, 278 feet long, threads through the trees, dips down to a pond, then rises on the other side across a pasture toward the busy New York State Thruway, carrying in its rock the region’s oceanic origin.

References and more information

Maya Lin’s Wavefield – Storm King Art Center

Andy Goldworthy’s Wall – Storm King Art Center

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