The Beartooth Portal

Explore Ensamble Studio's 400 ton sculpture, cast from the land beneath it

By Tippet Rise Art Center

The Beartooth Portal (2016-07-23) by Erik Petersen, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

The Beartooth Portal

Created in 2015 by Ensamble Studio, the Beartooth Portal was literally cast from the land beneath it: two large concrete forms dug from the earth on which the sculpture now stands. 

The Beartooth Portal (2018-05-18) by James Florio, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

Ensamble Studio's works at Tippet Rise are equal parts concert space, sculpture, and land art.

The Beartooth Portal (2018-10-26) by Emily Rund, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

Structures of Landscape

The Beartooth Portal is the first of three sculptural structures created at Tippet Rise by Ensamble Studio.

Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa (2014) by Antón García-Abril, ArtistTippet Rise Art Center

The Artists

Partners Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa lead the team at Ensamble Studio that blurs the lines between land, art, architecture, structure and sculpture. Using found materials, their work transcends architectural boundaries and time periods to produce a pure and direct emotional impact. Learn more at www.ensamble.info.

Creating the Beartooth Portal, Tippet Rise Staff, Photographer, Ensamble Studio, Artist, 2015-12-02, From the collection of: Tippet Rise Art Center
Show lessRead more

Tractors and the largest cranes in Montana were used to assemble the Beartooth Portal, which is made of a mix of earth, rock and concrete. Just one slab weighs almost a half a million pounds.

Creating the Beartooth Portal, Tippet Rise Staff, Photographer, Ensamble Studio, Artist, 2015-12-28, From the collection of: Tippet Rise Art Center
Show lessRead more
Creating the Beartooth Portal, Tippet Rise Staff, Photographer, Ensamble Studio, Artist, 2015-12-28, From the collection of: Tippet Rise Art Center
Show lessRead more
What a Wonderful World, Greg Anderson, Elizabeth Joy Roe, 2019-03-20, From the collection of: Tippet Rise Art Center
Show lessRead more

The renowned Anderson & Roe Piano Duo perform beside the Beartooth Portal. They later wrote, "We adore the juxtaposition of the man-made elements—Ensamble Studio’s stunning, sky-high sculpture; a sleek Steinway Model D; and Liz’s outrageous gown—against Montana’s rugged, rolling hills."

The Beartooth Portal (2016-07-16) by Erik Petersen, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

Of Ensamble Studio's sculptures, Peter Halstead, the cofounder of Tippet Rise wrote, "they emerge autochthonously from the earth, visceral manifestations of nature."

The Beartooth Portal (2017-08-12) by Erik Petersen, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

The Beartooth Portal measures 32' 6 1/2" x 25' 3 1/4" x 26' 5 1/2 "

A Tour at the Beartooth Portal (2016-07-16) by Erik Petersen, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

Visiting

Placed atop knolls and nestled into canyons across the art center's 12,000 acres, the sculptures of Tippet Rise can be toured each summer by van, bike or foot.

The Beartooth Portal in Detail (2017-09-09) by Erik Petersen, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

The Beartooth Portal's texture was formed by the wrinkles in the plastic tarp that held the concrete in its form as it cured.

The Beartooth Portal (2017-10-16) by James Florio, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

The primitive vocabulary, rawness and geological qualities of Ensamble Studio's sculptures were inspired by the landscape around them.

The Beartooth Portal (2016-07-06) by Yevgeny Sudbin, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

The Architect's Newspaper calls Ensamble Studio's sculptures at Tippet Rise "earth-born." Slate says, "They look like they've always been there."

The Beartooth Portal (2018-12-01) by James Florio, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

Named for the mountains to the south of Tippet Rise, the Beartooth Portal serves as a sort of "wormhole," says Peter Halstead, or "window" into the wild landscapes that surround and shape us.

The Beartooth Portal at Night (2016-07-08) by Yevgeny Sudbin, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

The Milky Way streams across the Montana sky; the Beartooth Portal reaches to meet it.

The Beartooth Portal (2019-02-21) by Erik Petersen, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

The Beartooth Portal "serves as a curious druid beacon..."
-National Geographic Traveler.

The Beartooth Portal (2019-03-21) by Emily Rund, PhotographerTippet Rise Art Center

Viewed from different perspectives—from directly beneath the structure, or from a distance, with the Crazy Mountains in the background—the Beartooth Portal's size seems to shift in the shimmering Montana light.

Credits: Story

Photography by: James Florio, Erik Petersen, Emily Rund, Yevgeny Sudbin

Writing by: Alexis Adams

Exhibit by: Emily Rund, Sarah Lanier

Sculpture by: Ensamble Studio

Support from:

Lindsey Hinmon
Managing Director, Programs

Melissa Moore
Communications and Administration Manager

Alexis Adams
Publications Administrator

Emily Rund
Filmmaker and Production Coordinator

Pete Hinmon
Managing Director, Operations

Peter & Cathy Halstead
Co-Founders of Tippet Rise

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps