Thursday, September 18

Richard Serra

This cool sculpture by Richard Serra is shown at the Gagosian Gallery WC1. Serra was born in San Fran and went to UC Berkeley - props. Otherwise he is described as a "minimalist sculptor and video artist known for working with large scale assemblies of sheet metal." His most famous work, at least in the 1980s, was Tilted Arc, a 3.5 meter high arc of rusting steel in NYC's Federal Plaza. There was controversy over the installation from the get-go as workers bitched that the steel wall obstructed passage through the plaza - fair enough. A public hearing in '85 voted that the work should be moved, but Serra argued the sculpture was site specific and could not be placed anywhere else. Serra issued an often-quoted statement regarding the nature of site-specific art when he said, "To remove the work is to destroy it." The sculpture was removed for scrap in '89 and William Gaddis wrote a novel about it: "A Frolic of His Own." Oh boy. Of a large collection stand-outs are Bramme for the Ruhr-District, 1998 at Essen; Fulcrum 1987, 55 ft. freestanding sculpture of Cor-ten steel at Liverpool Station; and The Matter of Time at the Guggenheim Bilbao.

Photo from the Gagosian.