Galerie Lelong Announces Andy Goldsworthy: “Red Flags”

Visual Arts
Red Flags
March 31 – May 7, 2022

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 31, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Artist talk with Brett Littman: Saturday, April 23, 11:00am in the gallery and on Zoom

Andy Goldsworthy, Detail: Red Flags, 2020.
New York, NY – March 17, 2022 – Galerie Lelong & Co., New York is pleased to announce the opening of Andy Goldsworthy: Red Flags, previously exhibited in 2020 for Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center. For this exhibition, Red Flags (2020) has been recontextualized in the gallery space, creating a new understanding in the process. The flags will be shown in their weathered states, having been subject to rain, sun, and wind whilst installed at the Center for a month. Red Flags will be accompanied by two film works originating from the piece.

During his visit to Rockefeller Center in November 2019, Goldsworthy observed the U.S. state flags flying in place of the customary flags that represent the countries of the United Nations. In response, he proposed to replace these with flags colored with earth from each state. Having worked for many years with red earth found near his home in Scotland, he was aware of the remarkable staining qualities that result in vibrant and permanent colors. While red earth is a familiar material, the artist also considered its significance in the context of a flag as most often flags denote land that was fought over. Goldsworthy has referred to red earth as the earth’s veins, its iron content being the same reason our blood is red. According to the artist when proposing the work, “Collectively I hope they will transcend borders. The closeness of one flagpole to another means that in certain winds the flags might overlap in a continuous flowing line. My hope is that these flags will be raised to mark a different kind of defense of the land. A work that talks of connection and not division.”

With the arrival of the pandemic, the project at Rockefeller Center was delayed by several months. The September 2020 unveiling of Red Flags witnessed the flags both still and moving during a period of uncertainty. Goldsworthy said in advance of the installation: “Red Flags may not have been conceived as a response to recent events, but it is now bound up with the pandemic, lockdown, division and unrest,” said the artist. “However, I hope that the flags will be received in the same spirit with which all the red earths were collected—as a gesture of solidarity and support.”

A set of 50 flags will hang vertically in a linear form along the walls of the gallery. As the viewer walks this line, different qualities of red emerge, referencing the embedded layers of the landscape and the people who have gone before. The line is a constant investigation in Goldsworthy’s practice, and it appears once more, with the flags becoming a single flowing work of canvas, earth, color, stillness, movement, and humanity. The original reds of the flags have also been changed by the weather conditions they experienced; an additional layer hidden but always present. By examining the contexts of flags and their connections to land and geography, their inherent and potential meanings are evoked in these varying qualities of red earths.

Accompanying the flags are two film works that are informed by and evoke the passage of time, a central theme of Goldsworthy’s art. The first film is a compilation of each flag flown and filmed at his studio throughout the pandemic’s confinement. The movement of the flags—sometimes calm and slow, sometimes furiously waving—brings opposing feelings of peace and distress. The second film captures a flag stained with earth from all 50 states of the U.S. flown in Scotland from November 3 to 4, 2020: a period beginning with the U.S.’s Election Day and ending as presidential results were being released. To date, the flag remains flying and will only be taken down by the artist at the next election. In this specific event and in his overarching practice, Goldsworthy notes our heightened awareness of time; a provoked and abrupt change in our minds set against the everyday reality of time steadily passing in nature.

Please note that the artist will be present for the in-person talk on April 23 and not for the opening reception.


Galerie Lelong: Dialogues
Andy Goldsworthy with Brett Littman
In-person at the gallery and livestream via Zoom
Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 11am ET

In commemoration of Earth Day, the artist will be in conversation with Brett Littman, director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum and curator of Frieze Sculpture 2020. In-person capacity is extremely limited. Advance RSVP necessary. Register here.

About Andy Goldsworthy 
In a diverse career spanning five decades, Andy Goldsworthy has become one of the most prominent and iconic contemporary sculptors. In photographs, sculptures, installations, and films, Goldsworthy documents his explorations of the effects of time, the relationship between humans and their natural surroundings, and the beauty in loss and regeneration. Goldsworthy’s permanent projects and ephemeral works contrast in their scale, tension, and lifetime, but are unified through their responses to the environment and his constant investigation into understanding the landscape he is in.

Recent permanent site-specific installations by Goldsworthy include Walking Wall, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Watershed, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Stone Sea, Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri; Chaumont Cairn, Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, France; Path and Rising Stone, Albright Knox Art Gallery, New York; and Wood Line, Presidio of San Francisco, California. Goldsworthy is currently working on Hanging Stones in North York Moors, UK. In this ongoing project, ten existing buildings, all in varying states of disrepair, have been or will be rebuilt as artworks and connected by a six-mile walk encompassing Northdale, near Rosedale Abbey.

Other permanent works can be seen at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; de Young Museum, California; Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York; Storm King Art Center, New York; Stanford University, California; and Haute Provence Geological Reserve in Digne-les-Bains, France, among numerous other sites. Major solo exhibitions of Goldsworthy’s work have been presented by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, England; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Neuberger Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California; and Des Moines Art Center, Illinois.

The artist was born in Cheshire, England, in 1956, and is now based in Scotland.

Media Contacts:
For interviews, background and images, please contact:
Andrea Bruce
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Tel: +1-212-675-1800