Andy Goldsworthy's art swings between two poles: big, permanent exhibits in museums and parks, which can withstand a good blast; and delicate, temporary works in unmolested nature, which succumb to a stiff breeze. We confess to leaning toward the fragile end, those twig placements and leaf stacks; art left to the insects is particularly satisfying, and good, nature-based, ephemeral art is in short supply. Then again, when we saw his Spire in the Presidio, with its tree trunks reaching toward heaven, we remember thinking that arranging several truckloads of denuded cypresses was exactly the right move for the British artist. Both approaches mesh in the exhibit Incidental Objects, a show of supplementary works exploring Goldsworthy's art-making process. Highlights include proposals for the Presidio works, including preliminary drawings for the upcoming Wood Line, to be composed of eucalyptus branches laid down in a sinuous line and left to rot over the (hopefully many) years. The exhibit also features evidence of his most intensely temporary pieces, such as a video of him lying on the ground through downpours to make "rain shadows" and parchment containing trace evidence of melting snowballs.
Tuesdays-Saturdays; Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 5. Continues through Dec. 24, 2010