Usually I love New York when everyone else is out of town, but for some reason this holiday week lacked the usual motivation to ‘re-explore’ the city that tends to accompany such times. As a result I decided I needed to take action and if necessary actually leave the city! With Dia Beacon on limited winter hours and Storm King Sculpture Center closed for the season, I thought the next best thing (and closest) would be the Pepsi Sculpture Garden in Purchase New York. Yesterday was a cold day with rain clouds ominously hovering over, but regardless, along with three friends who I bribed with the promise of a fire and a home cooked meal after, we motivated.
I love a sculpture garden. Especially one you don’t know that much about. Every turn is a surprise and just when you think you are content walking through nature some amazing (and large) piece of art appears and changes your perspective. I have said this before, but I love public art as well. Its one of my favorite ways to experience art and in many ways sculpture gardens act in the same way.
Among the highlights were Calder’s ‘Hats Off’ which greets you, Henry Moore’s ‘Sheep Piece’, Miro’s ‘Personnage’ and David Wynne’s ‘Grizzly Bear’. But my favorite piece, which was such a lovely surprise when I turned the corner around the main building in the middle of the garden, was George Segal’s ‘Three People on Four Benches’. Ever since I was asked to give a ten minute discussion on one of Segal’s sculptures on the spot during a trip to the Ludwig Museum in Cologne while I was in grad school, Segal’s work has touched me in an inexplicable way. Knowing his work only slightly up until that point, I used one of those ten minutes to intensely look at the work and then the work surrounding it. The remaining nine were filled with words I couldn’t get out of my mouth soon enough. I suggest going to this sculpture park. Everyone is bound to stumble across at least one piece that will make the trip more than worth it.