Located in the heart of Sonoma County, some seventy miles north of San Francisco, the Oliver Ranch Foundation is home to eighteen breathtaking site-specific installations of contemporary art. What all began in the mid-1980s with a 100-acre property that was meant for a few sheep to graze on, is now a stunning collection of larger-than-life artworks placed directly in the natural landscape.
In 1985, the Olivers commissioned their first sculpture for the foundation, “Shepard’s Muse” by Judith Shea, a nod to the shared hobby of the collectors’ and their passion for contemporary art. Since then, the Olivers have gone on to to pursue this passion and for the last twenty-five years have commissioned works by Miroslaw Balka, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Bill Fontana and Bruce Nauman.
The Oliver’s approach to the foundation is that of a family-matter – with the collecting couple completely sharing the decision-making behind the choice of artists, Steve’s role of “studio assistant” when it comes to the construction of works, and not forgetting Steve serving as your personal tour guide for the foundation – leading groups on the two-and-a-half mile walk around the property, recounting the personal stories behind each installation.
Here, in their first Online Exhibition we present installation views from inside the Oliver Ranch Foundation.