List of selected artworks. Maps for the tour in the museum

Preview

Search

Richard Serra

January 28 - March 29, 1992
/
Sabatini Building, Floor 0

In Richard Serra (San Francisco, 1939), twentieth century sculpture has one of the craftsman behind the revival of its innate values: weight, mass, monumentality, a desire for permanence, who through his sculptural expression incites the active consideration of the viewer and formulates a necessary relationship between sculpture and space. Although Serra emerges on the New York art scene at the end of the sixties as a Minimalist artist alongside Carl André and Sol Lewitt, he soon expresses his desire to: “Escape from the theory of good form (and the opposing figure-ground it is based on)”, as the art critic and historian, Yves-Alain Bois, indicates. His first works display an artistic interest in the possibilities raw and unused materials (rubber, neon, leather, lead), which can be appreciated in the piece Belts (1966-1967). The conception and arrangement of these works highlight the rejection of idealised sculptural practice placed on a pedestal (involving a static sculpture with one unique central viewpoint), explored further in his later work which displays an intrinsic transitive nature, as is the case in the sculpture Walzstrasse I (1983). Its main aim is to consider the redefinition of the space it is located in and participate in the viewer's spacial experience, leading them to compare proportions.

For this first retrospective exhibition on Spanish soil, Serra himself has selected the ensemble of sixteen works, realised between 1966 and 1989, although it is worth noting that some of the sculptures have been produced in earlier projects to take into the consideration the particular conditions of the exhibition space. The exhibition, more than being a retrospective in the strictest sense of the word, opens up the possibility of ascertaining Serra's development of sculptural concepts and the formal language they are based on and highlights at least two primordial elements of space in Serra's work. Firstly, the assumption that this is the main factor that does not solely determine the work (dimensions, arrangement, composition). Secondly, his work distinguishes between architectural space (thus the sculpture becomes a transient space) while also needing it as a context for the pieces and to modify the viewer's experience of it.

Works such as Plunge (1983), T-Junction (1988) and Anvil (1988) illustrate this notion of the occupation and development of space in his work and the dominance of verticality, which alludes to the fact that Serra works from an elevated position, not the ground, and believes that they must be seen from above. As Serra himself asserts in reference to this matter: “When you are building a piece that weighs 100 tonnes you have to work under determined codes.”

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Lunwerg Editores
Curatorship: 
Richard Serra and Ilva Rouse
Artists:

Share

Current exhibitions

  • Ree Morton, Signs of Love (Detail), studio of the artist, 1976 © Estate of Ree Morton. Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York and Annemarie Verna, Zurich
    May 20 - September 28, 2015

    Ree Morton

    Be a Place, Place an Image, Imagine a Poem

  • Exhibition view. Carl Andre. Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010, 2015
    May 5 - October 12, 2015 Palacio de Velázquez. Parque del Retiro

    Carl Andre

    Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010

  • Vista de sala de la exposición. Federico Guzmán. Tuiza. Las culturas de la jaima, 2015
    April 16 – August 30, 2015

    Federico Guzmán

    Tuiza. The Cultures of the Bedouin Tent

  • Paul Klee. Baldgreis, 1922. Oil on cardboard, 40.3 x 37.4 cm. Kunstmuseum Basel © Kunstmuseum Basel
    March 18 - September 14, 2015

    White Fire

    The Kunstmuseum Basel Modern Collection

  • Pablo Picasso. Buveuse d’absinthe (The Absinthe Drinker), 1901. Oil on canvas, 81 x 60 cm. Im Obersteg Foundation, permanent loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel. Photography: Mark Gisler, Müllheim
    March 18 - September 14, 2015

    Collectionism and Modernity

    Two Case Studies: The Im Obersteg and Rudolf Staechelin Collections

  • Exhibition view. Not Yet. On the Reinvention of Documentary and the Critique of Modernism, 2015
    February 11 - July 13, 2015

    Not Yet

    On the Reinvention of Documentary and the Critique of Modernism