Its skyward thrust expresses the artist’s innate desire to interact with the cosmos, ‘the desire to go beyond the self, the desire to communicate with all that is living.’
In reply to an interviewer who asked him: What is sculpture: poetry, mysticism? Stahly said straight off: ‘Yes, a mysticism’.
L’été de la forêt, which we are honoured to present in a preview at the Friche de l’Escalette, was last seen in public at the 1966 Musée des Arts Décoratifs show.
In the more than half a century since then it guarded the grounds of Kykuit, the Rockefeller family home for the past four generations, at Tarrytown in the Hudson Valley north of New York.
Nelson Rockefeller, a fervent admirer of Stahly’s work, had purchased it for his property. When his estate was put up for auction in January 2019, it came back to France.
Stahly is quoted in italics in the text.
cf.stahly.fr/lete-de-la-foret/ Pierre Mougin 2019.