Antony Gormley and Andy Goldsworthy shortlisted for Treasure Island commissions 29th January 2018/ Bilyana Palankasova The Treasure Island Art Steering Committee has announced the finalists in the competition for the first three public art projects part of the $50m San Francisco Bay redevelopment programme. Antony Gormley and Andy Goldsworthy are among the eight finalists, shortlisted from 495 applicants. The other contestants are Ai Wei Wei, Chakaia Booker, Ned Kahn, Jorge Pardo, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Pae White.

The Treasure Island redevelopment project relies on more than 300 acres of publicly accessible open space. That makes it the largest piece of park land in San Francisco since the completion of Golden Gate Park in 1871. All of the public artworks are meant to be placed within the island’s open spaces while there will be additional opportunities for artworks situated within historical buildings. It is expected that the first three projects will be signature monumental artworks and they will be situated at the Ferry Plaza, Building One Plaza and Yerba Buena Hilltop Park – all sharing the same qualities of high visibility and panoramic views.

The artists selected for the project were evaluated by a panel that included Arts Commission President JD Beltran, San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art’s Thomas Weisel, Family Curator of Painting and Sculpture Janet Bishop, Curator Mika Yoshitake from the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Chris Meany from Wilson Meany, representing the Treasure Island developer and Fei Tsen, President of the Treasure Island Development Authority Board. The panel produced an agenda of three artists to suggest proposals for each of the three sites. Building One Plaza, with an art budget of $1 million, was assigned Ai Wei Wei, Chakaia Booker, and Pae White with Ned Kahn as an alternate. Waterfront Plaze, with an art budget of $2 million, was allocated Ai Wei Wei, Antony Gormley, and Jorge Pardo. The last site, Yerba Buena Hilltop Park, $2 million art budget, relies on the proposals of Chakaia Booker, Andy Goldsworthy, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Each artist is invited for an orientation on site and will have to develop a proposal for the site, which will be submitted in spring and exhibited in public on Treasure Island and elsewhere in the city for residents to evaluate it and provide feedback, which will be of crucial importance in voting and coming up with a final decision by the Treasure Island Development Authority.

Goldsworthy is well known in the Bay Area, especially because of his three site-specific installations in the Presidio’s landmark forest. All of the three works make use of trees part of the Presidio’s reforestation efforts. Spire (2008) articulates the space within which the trees are growing, Wood Line (2011) explores the relationship between a tree and the ground, and Tree Fall (2013) focuses on what lies beneath the ground. All the installations are ephemeral and use natural materials. In the context of their lifespan, they are expected to decay and return to the earth.

Antony Gormley was recently part of the group exhibition British Sculptors at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with Quantum Could (1999). The show brought together works from the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection.