Visitors to St. Louis Art Museum will see ‘Stone Sea’ change over time

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KPLR)  – There are no rules set in stone when trying to connect the present with the past. But British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy might have set the bar with his piece -- Stone Sea.

“Which is literally as he says eloquently, To draw fluidity from static stone.” said Tricia Paik, assistant curator of modern & contemporary art at the St. Louis Art Museum.  “So you have this whole sea of arches, 25 arches weighing 300 tons.  Not the weight of water of course and he’s given an extraordinary gift to the city of St. Louis with this project.”

A project the St. Louis Art Museum commissioned as a permanent way to bridge David Chipperfeild’s new East building with the Cass Gilbert designed Main building.

“We rest, St. Louis and the Midwest rests on a bed of rock of limestone,” Paik said. “This is a stone of marine origin.  So many centuries in the prehistoric era this was once a sea an inland shallow sea.”

This is a rare inside look at this marriage of something new with something old. These stone arches are the same bedrock used to build the 1904 original building.

“We had a wonderful art critic come in and he gave a very great word to describe which Andy loved which is episodic," Paik explained.  "You experience it in moments and you actually experience it throughout our new expanded campus.”

Most will experience the installation from indoors or looking down from this outdoor courtyard. Over time Mother Nature will change the complexion of these arches.

“It’s a work that’s responding to nature,” Paik said.  “From the sun, rain, darkened clouds, it’s going to be brightly lit on some days, shadow as we are here right now.  So it’s going to be something that will change with time.”

Museum visitors will get to enjoy this present day art from our prehistoric past.

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