The Light Before The Storm

The sun rises and sets with the works currently on view at Storm King Art Center’s 500-acre landscape.

“Light and Landscape,” the current exhibition at Storm King in Mountainville, N.Y., features artwork that is inspired by, and harnesses, natural light.

The exhibiton, the sculpture park and gallery’s major seasonal on-site show, opened May 12 and will run until Nov. 11. The show is the first to be coordinated by Nora Lawrence, Storm King’s associate curator since April 2011.

Lawrence, who has been working on the exhibition since July 2011, said when beginning to curate she had some artists in mind for commission, but was also drawn to certain already-made pieces and was prompted to “start a conversation” with the artists who made them.

Making the exhibition a group show, Lawrence said, “was a good idea to think about Storm King as a place,” showcasing the venue’s gallery spaces, as well as its landscape, in different ways.

Some of the works, such as Alyson Shotz’s “Mirror Fence,” were already on display at Storm King, while 10 of the 25 works are site-specific, or created for the show.

Two of these brand new works include William Lamson’s two pieces,  “Solarium” and “Last Light.” The works were part of Storm King’s summer piece put up in May and taken down in August.

“Last Light” consisted of a strip of “reflective film foil” and was designed to coincide with the angle of the sun on the evening of the summer solstice, according to the exhibition’s website. “Solarium,” a glass greenhouse whose 164 panels were coated with caramel, is what Lamson called a “logical extension” of a past piece.

Despite experiencing a few challenges with “Solarium” — like having a short time to complete the work and bees being attracted to it — Lamson, who doesn’t usually work with sculpture, said he considers the piece to be one of the best he’s ever made. He said he was also pleased with how quickly Storm King committed to “Solarium.”

“By the time I was ready to propose the house project I had to just start making it,” he said. “It was an exciting kind of deadline to have to work under. I was really thrilled with how this show came together, how they were up for making this Solarium piece happen on the short time we had.”

Lawrence, who has been working in the art world  for more than 10 years, said the unique features of  “Light and Landscape” not only include its site-specific nature, but also the way it makes visitors think about time.

“It has to do with being at Storm King, because of that natural light aspect,” she said. “With this element of time added in, it’s asking you to think about where you are and thinking about time passing.”

Lamson, who called the Storm King landscape “a big, beautiful exhibition space” to work in, said he enjoyed being a part of this group of artists.

“I really like a lot of the artists in the show,” he said. “It was really exciting because so many of the artists I know and really respect, so I’m honored to be in a show with them.”