Without a doubt Richard Serra is one of the most influential sculptors of the twentieth century. His new show at the Gagosian Gallery is split into two parts, with four monumental steel sculptures occupying the spacious galleries on Britannia Street in Kings Cross and a large scale drawing to be shown at the more intimate site on Davies Street in Mayfair.
BACKDOOR PIPELINE, RAMBLE, DEADLOAD, LONDON CROSS is comprised of four sculptures, three of which are new works. They are particularly impressive seen in the post-industrial surroundings of Gagosian's Kings Cross site, an area which is in the process of major transformation. Simply entitled DRAWING, the Davies Street space displays one of a series of images entitled Double Rift, #2, which interrogates the gaps between solid forms. Made with paint-stick on handmade paper, the drawing is dense and definite. However, unlike the sculptures, the work on paper is tangibly perishable, providing an interesting contrast to the immutable character of the steel pieces.
Richard Serra sculpture
Often occupying public spaces or permanently installed in a museum setting, Serra's oeuvre blurs the line between art and architecture, and thrives in interacting and reacting to its environment. In the 60s and 70s, his awe-inspiring yet minimal forms signified a new look for the modern cityscape which complemented the new, hard lines of steel skyscrapers and industrial chic. Finesse springs to mind as a good way to describe Serra's sculptures, which seem to possess an effortless balance.
Tilted Arc controversy
However, Serra's public commissions have not always been welcomed into the public arena, causing a monumental backlash from New York office workers in 1981 following the installation of the 12 feet high steel wall, ‘Tilted Arc’, in Federal Plaza.
These two shows together paint a picture of an artist still very much in his prime, and able to stun and awe an audience. And though we may now be familiar with his work, it has become no less dizzying to encounter.
|What||Richard Serra: BACKDOOR PIPELINE, RAMBLE, DEADLOAD, LONDON CROSS & DRAWING, Gagosian Gallery|
|Where||Gagosian Britannia Street, 6-24 Britannia Street, London, WC1X 9JD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||King's Cross St. Pancras (underground)|
11 Oct 14 – 22 Nov 14, 12:00 AM – 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here for more information|