Andy Goldsworthy's "SPIRE" (first of three planned) in the
Presidio, San Francisco
"Spire," a major new work by British artist Andy Goldsworthy in the Presidio of San Francisco, rises like a steeple out of the earth. Standing on a ridge above a busy, winding road, overlooking the bay and Alcatraz Island in the distance, "Spire" grabs the attention of joggers, bikers and sightseers alike. Some forty cypress logs have been pressed into a massive, 100-foot-tall cone. Its wide, steel-reinforced base narrows into a crooked tip, like a delicate finger. But the idea behind this permanent sculpture is intentionally non-monumental. Fated to fade into the forest, "Spire" eventually should be outgrown by saplings planted to replace the trees used to build it.
Goldsworthy has been creating land art for thirty years, first in England, then throughout Europe and America. His other permanent works in the Bay Area include "Stone River" at Stanford University and "Drawn Stone" at the De Young Museum, both of which echo the aftermaths of California's earthquakes. His photographs of his art have been published as several books, and he was the subject of the 2001 documentary, "Rivers and Tides."