American, b. 1946
Low Building with Dirt Roof (For Mary), 1973/2010
Wood, stone, and earth
30 in. x 20 ft. x 12 ft. (76.2 x 609.6 x 365.8 cm)
Gift of the artist
© Alice Aycock, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
Low Building with Dirt Roof (For Mary) was first created in 1973—a time when many artists were working with the earth as an artistic medium—at Gibney Farm, Pennsylvania, land owned by Aycock’s family. There, its roof was intended to be planted with whatever crop was growing in the fields surrounding it. Aycock has associated Low Building with both a farmhouse and a small cemetery on her family’s property. Mary, of the work’s title and dedication, was a child in Aycock’s family who died prematurely. Aycock also has said that she was inspired by “frontier homes, the tunnels and tombs of Mycenae, the myth of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, dreams, the memory of my grandparents’ attic,” and finally adds, “I also have a shelter concept—a sort of physiological need for a ‘first house’.” The work was re-created at Storm King in 2010.