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National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

Image: The Andy Goldsworthy Project

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.

Related Resources

Exhibition Overview

Works by
Andy Goldsworthy
in the Gallery's Collection

Biography of
Andy Goldsworthy

Lecture Abstract

Andy Goldworthy: Roof
On view in the National Gallery's East Building, Ground Level

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panoramas of Roof
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Modern and Contemporary Painting and Sculpture

Press Materials

Image: Andy Goldsworthy
Working Drawing for Roof, 2004
graphite on paper
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lelong The first phase of the project began in October 2003 when Goldsworthy spent nine days on Government Island, Stafford, Virginia, site of the now abandoned but historic Aquia Creek sandstone quarry, which provided the original stone for the White House and Capitol buildings. The location proved a rich source of materials and inspiration for Goldsworthy. Here he modeled clay, extracted from the quarry and made pliable by a recent rain, into vertical ridges that he affixed to the face of a pointed rock. Goldsworthy documented his work with a diary (sponsored by The Nancy Lee and Perry Bass Fund) and photographs, now owned by the Gallery.

These photographs portray shifting rays of sunlight as it filters through a canopy of trees to reveal patterns of light and shadow as the day progresses. In his diary entry for October 16, 2004 he reflects:

The works I have made here have, I feel, understood the changing light that passes through this place. They have succeeded because they have worked with a specific time, place, and material—a meeting of light and form which I have never achieved in similar conditions before. I have been allowed a new way of looking.

The fragile works Goldsworthy made on Government Island have been blown away or washed off their stone supports by rain. The photographic suite and diary are among the only remaining impressions of Goldsworthy’s time on the island. Roof (made possible by the Patron's Permanent Fund of the National Gallery of Art) is the second phase of this two-part project.