Art lovers packed The Farrell Auditorium on November 4, 2013 for a sold-out lecture by Andy Goldsworthy, the British artist who created Stone Sea, the monumental site-specific commission he created at the Museum that has been described as Goldsworthy’s most significant work in North America.
Stone Sea is inspired by St. Louis geology and the city’s underlying base of limestone, formed more than 300 million years ago when the Midwest was covered by sea. Using limestone from a local quarry, Goldsworthy fabricated 25 arches, each measuring about 10 feet high. The arches are densely arranged in the Courtyard adjoining the Museum’s Cass Gilbert-designed Main Building and the East Building, designed by Sir David Chipperfield. Made of roughly cut stone, Goldsworthy’s arches produce a sense of fluidity reminiscent of the sea while the sculpture brings together many of the artist’s key themes and goals: commitment to the arch form, exploration of enclosed spaces, merging of outside and inside, investigation of local material, and finally, connecting of people and place.