Andy Goldsworthy Biography | The Most Popular Land-Art Artist in Britain

about andy goldsworthy

Who Is Andy Goldsworthy?

An artist who always has material at hand, wherever it may be. How are all the most amazing people on the planet alike? Hardly anyone will object if I say that they all had one unique ability – to see the unusual in the most ordinary and absolutely elementary things … The name Goldsworthy is heard not only in England and Scotland, this man is known without exaggeration all over the world. His works live in Japan and the USA, sparsely populated areas of Australia, and even at the North Pole.

Andy Goldsworthy Bio

British land-art artist was born in 1956 in Cheshire. As a teenager, working on a farm near Leeds, Andy Goldsworthy began to explore the environment, building its familiar components in the most unexpected ways.

Andy Goldsworthy Biography

Then, when Andy was still a child, his family moved to another city. His parents were often strict with the child, thereby instilling in his hard work. As a teenager, Andy started working on the farm in the summer as well as on weekends.

Andy Goldsworthy Education

The future artist thought all his childhood that, like his parents, he would devote his whole life to farming, and art would remain at the level of the hobby. Also, such thoughts were prompted by refusals to enter art schools. Submitting documents to raspberry establishments, he was admitted only to one in 1974. He became a student at the Bradford College of Art. When he finished his first year of college, he still tried to go to university. As a result, he managed to enter the Preston Polytechnic University. During his studies, he did not like studying indoors. He liked the creativity in open spaces more.

Andy Goldsworthy Inspiration

andy goldsworthy bio

Nature became an inspiration for the young artist. And also she provided him with a lot of different materials for his work. One day, after spending time on the beach, he saw the tide, which interested him very much. After that, he finally decided that he would work with the environment. Also, thanks to his teachers at the university, nature artist Andy Goldsworthy began his acquaintance with the works of Joseph Beuys and Robert Smithson. This also became his inspiration. From that moment, people began to recognize the artist.

Andy Goldsworthy Art Style

In the late 1960s, several American artists traveled to the wild deserts of the American West in search of alternatives to commercial art. So a new direction arose, later called land-art.

At the Cumbria Art Gallery in England, the artist presented his debut exhibition when he was only 24 years old. To this day, sculpting “strange” masterpieces, the author uses only natural materials. All his works are exclusive. Each piece is counted in quantity – one piece and, sometimes, has a destructive property for the master: melt, evaporate, dry out, smolder … And since natural materials are rarely preserved in “field” conditions, the master’s work can only be evaluated by looking at photographs in author’s books.

“I enjoy the freedom that only my own hands and ‘found’ tools give, – says the author, – a sharp stone, a feather of a bird, thorns of thorny plants. I just use the opportunities that every day gives me: if it snows, I work with the snow, the falling leaves give me leaves. I stop and pick up a material because I feel there is something that wants to be found. My work is exactly that island where I can study and always learn something new … ”.

More about Andy Goldsworthy

andy goldsworthy art style

Unlike artists such as Christo and Michael Heather, whose ambitious work is spectacular and more reminiscent of large-scale installations than creativity in the usual sense for us, Goldsworthy’s work is “invisible.” He tries only for a while to change the external state of nature, to feel like a part of it. Goldsworthy works in both large and small forms, discovering new and new materials every day. For example, foliage. The leaves of chestnut, sycamore, sycamore are mixed, crumpled, curled, fastened with thorns or glue. They are dried in the sun, folded overlapping, making patterns on a plane. In order to create, for example, a “broken icicle” Goldsworthy labored early in the morning when the air temperature was low enough. The master worked for more than one day to create only one smallest element of the sculpture, and the next morning the ice creation happily turned into a puddle next to the porch.

“Site-specific art” is the transformation of existing elements of the environment into works of art with the help of additional means: the most striking example of this is that the artists Christo and Jean-Claude have wrapped all the park trees in a single-color fabric over several hundred meters. Thus, the installation of independent objects, not related to the environment, was called “installation art” – the famous landscape designer Robert Irwin is considered its founder. Artifacts by artists such as Goldsworthy, Long, and Lutz, with their compositions of ice, clay, stones and flowers, branches, and grass, are truly amazing. Virtuosos of nature use in their work the “crop art” technique – artistic “utilisation” of the harvest, playing with the changing appearance of the flora.

Where Does Andy Goldsworthy Live?

Several years ago, director Thomas Reidelscheimer shot a full-length documentary about the work of Andy Goldsworthy, where he told many interesting moments from the life of this truly unusual person. Goldsworthy now lives and works in Scotland. He does not engage in self-PR and does not like publicity. He just does what gives him pleasure.

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