Now that the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org) has celebrated the grand opening of its brand-new East Building expansion on Saturday and Sunday, June 29 and 30, St. Louis has reaped a windfall of new and old art. The East Building houses 21 galleries, with an emphasis on exhibiting contemporary art. The Main Building will reshuffle its galleries, allowing more than 400 artworks that haven't been displayed in twenty years to go back on public view. And the space between the buildings will also be utilized. Renowned sculptor Andy Goldsworthy was commissioned to create a permanent installation for the courtyard joining the old and new buildings. Goldsworthy drew inspiration from the geological history of Missouri for the piece; specifically, the prehistoric era when the state sat at the bottom of a vast sea. He chose to re-create that sea with the only witness to its passing -- limestone, which was formed during that wetter era, and which St. Louis now rests upon. The resulting piece, Stone Sea, comprises 25 roughly hewn arches of Missouri limestone, each ten feet high, which Goldsworthy assembled in a tight grouping in the courtyard. The installation echoes in form and material the surface of that long-gone ocean, an eternally rolling mass of waves that was here before we began and will stand long after we're gone. Stone Sea will be visible from ground level (from the first floor of the Main Building), from above (viewed from the South Terrace) and through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the East Building. Each angle will show something different about the installation, as will the passage of the seasons.
Sat., June 29; Sun., June 30; Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: June 29. Continues through Feb. 9, 2013