Step onto the walkway that leads to the entrance of the de Young and you’ve stepped onto a work of art. The beautiful stone pavement is flawed. And I’m guessing that most visitors see it as a flaw. But in reality, it’s the beginning of a site-specific artwork created by the wizard of environmental art, Andy Goldsworthy.
Drawn Stone (2005) is inspired by the unique character of California’s tectonic topography. It’s a crack. At first it’s a straight crack that runs right through the walkway. But then it runs into a rock—a rock that is split by the same crack. As you enter the courtyard the crack wanders through the paving stones and splits other large rocks imported from Goldsworthy’s home of Yorkshire, England. These rocks now serve as seating for museum visitors.
This is art that lives up to Goldsworthy’s ethereal nature. And at first it seems simplistic. But as you follow the crack, it gets ever more intriguing. You realize that in the world of art, where cracks are almost always a bad thing, this is one nice crack.