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Passage Hardcover – November 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810955865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810955868
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 10.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

To achieve the quiet beauty of his art, Andy Goldsworthy spends long hours in rough weather, engaged in a tug-of-war with nature. He wrestles heavy stones on top of one another to form tall, egg-shaped landmarks known as cairns. He painstakingly covers fallen logs with bright golden bands of Dutch elm leaves—a last hurrah for a proud species decimated by disease. He pulverizes white chalk to lay a long, wandering path in the woods that gleams in the moonlight. Works like these are as much about the transience of life as they are about a sense of place and the pleasures of color, light and form. In Passage, the British artist's latest book, he once again provides diary excerpts that chronicle his daily successes and failures. The lush color photographs he takes to document peak moments of the birth, glory and decay of his art are as beautiful as ever. Unlike the other books, however, Passage--which begins in 2000 and darts back and forth over the next few years--is shadowed by a more urgent sense of mortality. Goldworthy's recently deceased father is in his thoughts, and a major project he tackles is the memorial Garden of Stones for the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. The garden's giant boulders pose many difficulties--finding the right ones, acquiring them, moving them, experimenting with cutting processes and coping with the elderly stonecutter's frequent tantrums. Hollowed out, the stones will be filled with trowels of earth (a ritual recalling burial) and tiny oak saplings, symbolic of life. "The partnership between tree and stone will be stronger for the tree having grown from the stone, rather than being stuck into it," Goldsworthy writes in his straightforward style. (An essay about this project by the historian Simon Schama, previously published in The New Yorker, is one of several pieces by other writers included in the book.) Once again, Goldsworthy succeeds in showing how seemingly simple ideas and actions can deeply engage both natural forces and human emotions. —Cathy Curtis

From Booklist

*Starred Review* "I don't know what will happen but look forward to whatever changes occur," writes sculptor Goldsworthy, a statement that can stand as his credo. An artist who works with nature in nature, he creates astonishingly subtle, ephemeral, seemingly impossible, and elegantly mysterious works out of stone, sticks, leaves, stalks, ice, and sand, constructions vulnerable to sun, wind, storms, tides, and time. Documentation is an integral aspect of his art, and, consequently, Goldsworthy, the subject of the gorgeously meditative, award-winning documentary Rivers and Tides (2004), has created a number of beautiful books. His newest covers many recent works--including Garden of Stones, a Holocaust memorial in New York City and the subject of an essay by Simon Schama--and tracks his ongoing involvement with an ancient tradition, the building of cairns. His are not mere stacks of stones marking a trail but rather elaborately constructed and gracefully balanced egg-shaped forms that bring into focus the beauty of their surroundings. Magical and exquisite, Goldsworthy's sculptures move us to look more carefully at the world around us and consider more deeply our place within the fine mesh of life. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Such a beautiful book!
Annie Wilhelm
His moss covered stones surrounded by sun-blindingly bright leaves in perfect auras make me examine my walks through the park in new ways.
Sara Watson
This book is inspirational - it makes you want to go outside, commune with nature, and a create something!
Eric D. Olick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Sara Watson on September 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When I first heard of Goldsworthy my temptation was to label his art as New Agey because of his interaction with natural mediums and his works' outdoor settings. This would have been a gross mislabeling. I've also heard the term "environmental artist" bandied about, but that is just far too vague and I'm hoping we don't adopt that as part of our art-appreciation vocabulary. I think Goldsworthy and Christos are grouped together under that title, but they couldn't be more dissimilar. Christos' works always so statement oriented and meant to be observed from a distance, while Goldsworthy's evocative sculptures and leaf paintings invite you to examine them more closely and admire how well they fit into the landscape. And though his art is made from natural materials and dependent on the elements, the works themselves are very modern. Passage was the first book of Goldsworthy's work that I've been given, though I've seen some of his smaller pieces and photos in several galleries.

His moss covered stones surrounded by sun-blindingly bright leaves in perfect auras make me examine my walks through the park in new ways. He uses sticks and stones and leaves the way James Turrell uses light and corners and openings, letting you rediscover the things you may have taken for granted. Beautiful and painstaking work. Yet accessible. After reading this, you'll be tempted to go outside and create your own sculptures. Passage offers some commentary by Goldsworthy and as well as diary entries and curators' comments. But the pictures make the book. Many of his works are photographed at different times of day or year and because they are dependent on their environment, the pieces change dramatically. Very beautiful.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By albatross on January 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The pictures in this book are once again amazing - and also very touching. It's easy to forget the time when you flip through this book and read the artist's remarks about certain works. The artist is simply a genius.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Chavez on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
PASSAGE includes everything an interested reader could want: ample beautiful imagery, photographs of how finished pieces progress over time, photographs of original pieces being constructed, concurrent journal entries by Goldsworthy, commentary by various museum curators..

This book communicates beautifully perhaps the most necessary aspect of Goldsworthy's work, one that could not be transmitted merely through photos of his finished pieces. Goldsworthy's art, while accessing relationship with nature, also represents respect of, and submission to, time. It has always amazed me, and I imagine has had similar impact on many others, how much time and care is dedicated to the construction of such beautiful pieces and yet how easily they are allowed to be blown away or washed over or changed in whatever way by the powers that be. And yet, if it were not so, if his pieces were memorialized indefinitely, protected from natural wear and tear, their beauty would be somehow reduced. For it is in this release and acceptance of what must occur, that their power lies.

PASSAGE succeeds in portraying both aspects, relationship with nature and submission to time, through use of various tools, all mentioned in the 1st paragraph. As its title suggests, PASSAGE involves the reader in the process of Goldsworthy's art, from its conception to creation to change and destruction.

I rated this book only 4 stars because a part of me would have preferred more photos and fewer words. A picture speaks a thousand, as you know, and for those who are already familiar with Goldsworthy's amazing work, an inspiring photo of nature cannot but speak of its impermanence.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Russell on November 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is BREATHTAKING. I've admired Goldsworthy's simple yet stunning nature-mimics-nature for a few years now, but this book managed to blow me away.

Much of the photographs are devoted to the use of light on his works. Shadows, times of day (or year!), reflections, and the passage of light make astounding changes in his works.

Goldsworthy includes his notes and journal entries for the works, explaining his goals, emotions, and reactions to the process. A valuable look into the works, but also into the artist himself and his thoughts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric D. Olick on May 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Goldsworthy is a master at using nature in creative ways. I own his book, "A Collaboration With Nature," which is also a beautiful book, but what i love about "Passage" is how it documents and details the design process and the way Goldsworthy actually created his artwork. My favorite piece of work of his in this book is the one he calls pool of light - a huge circle of split wood facing a certain direction so that when the sun hits it, it is illuminated a rich golden color, surrounded by more split wood facing a different direction so that when the sun hits the circle or "Pool", the surrounding wood is dark. By the afternoon, when the sun hits the field of wood from a different direction, the colors are reversed, with the circle appearing dark, and the surrounding wood illuminated golden.

Goldsworthy's ability to use the ordinary changes in nature (such as the sunrises and sunsets, the ocean tides or currents in rivers), and to weave those changes into his art in an interactive way, is nothing short of genius. The photography is also extraordinary. This book is inspirational - it makes you want to go outside, commune with nature, and a create something!
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