Richard Serra

Richard Serra

64magazine

Richard Serra (born November 2, 1938) is an American minimalist sculptor and video artist known for working with large-scale assemblies of sheet metal. Serra was involved in the Process Art Movement. He lives and works in Tribeca, New York, and on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.

Serra studied painting in the M.F.A. program at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture between 1961 and 1964.

Coming of age in the shadow of greats such as Constantin Brancusi, Pablo Picasso, and Julio González, Serra both inherited and advanced the tradition of abstract sculpture, adapting the medium of welded steel (originally a concern of early twentieth century Cubism) to new, holistic values of the 1960s and 1970s. 

More recent Minimalist sculptors, among them Donald Judd and Carl Andre, had demonstrated how sculpture and its materials could stand for themselves, or not be forced to serve as vehicles for articulating an artist's emotional and intellectual life. Serra took up that contemporary heritage, one suggesting that the human body itself no longer had a place in painting or sculpture, and returned to it something of the human body's stature.

He explored how an art work might relate intimately to a specific setting; how it might take up a physical as well as a visual relationship to a viewer; and how it might create spaces (or environments) in which a viewer can experience universal qualities of weight, gravity, agility, and even a kind of meditative repose.

He claims to have taken most of his inspiration from the artists who taught there, most notably Philip Guston and the experimental composer Morton Feldman, as well as designer Josef Albers.

Serra's work was featured on BBC One in "Imagine...Richard Serra: Man of Steel" on Tuesday November 25, 2008 which described him as "Sculptor and giant of modern art Richard Serra discusses his extraordinary life and work.

Only a few of Serra’s top auction prices are for sculpture; the rest are for his works on paper. In 2001, an untitled, 1984 curved steel wall was sold for $1.2 million at Sotheby's in New York.

The current record auction price for a Serra sculpture was paid at Sotheby’s in 2008, where 12-4-8, a 1983 work consisting of three steel plates, sold for $1.65 million.

Current exhibitions:

4 November–16 December 2017

DAVID ZWIRNER, 20TH STREET, NEW YORK