Take Richard Serra’s 1967 artwork Verb List, a piece consisting of 108 terms handwritten across four columns on two sheets of letter paper. It’s a kind of index to the 18 titanic formal experiments, borrowed from museums and private collections all over the world, that have been arranged to loosely recreate the feeling of the artist’s 1968 Soho loft inside David Zwirner’s distractingly opulent new building on West 20th Street. Begin with “to roll.” Scavenge an irregular, four-foot-high ingot of black rubber, scraped or torn into a sandy latex color along one corner. Lean it against the wall. The way it lists to the right brings to mind a dancer striking a supple pose, whose shape looks transitional even as it holds steady—a perfect sculptural embodiment of frozen gesture. But then the soft material reminds you that the piece, Chunk (1967) really is bending the way it looks like it’s bending, even though it’s bending too slowly to see.
Last week members of the press assembled at David Zwirner’s new space on West 20th Street for a preview of Richard Serra’s early works there and, we’d been told, a walkthrough of the exhibition with the artist himself. If you were familiar with Mr. Serra’s personality—or at least his famous falling out with the U.S. government over its decision to remove his sculpture Tilted Arc (1981) in 1989—the walkthrough sounded slightly out of character. Even if he had curated the show himself, Mr. Serra is not a salesman of any kind. He’s not even especially friendly. As the hacks shuffled around near the formal and material experimentations from 1966 to 1971 that comprise the show (coiled lead, etc.), the squat bald artist spoke to no one except the man whose name was on the door. And to him he spoke gruffly.
Amidst talk of artists leaving the Gagosian Gallery, news of any artists who show with Gagosian doing exhibitions elsewhere is likely to be closely scrutinized, and potentially misunderstood. Gallerist can reveal that, while Richard Serra, a longtime Gagosian artist, will have an exhibition of historical work at David Zwirner gallery in the spring, the artist’s relationship with Gagosian remains unchanged, and, in fact, he is planning a major exhibition of new sculpture for next fall at Gagosian’s two Chelsea locations.
The exhibition of historical sculptures will take place in Zwirner’s new West 20th Street gallery. According to John Silberman, Mr. Serra’s longtime attorney, Mr. Zwirner approached Mr. Serra about the exhibition, and the artist was enthusiastic about it.
The Museum of Islamic Art has a new 62-acre park on the waterfront of Doha, Qatar. Tonight, the park will make its debut in the company of Qatari emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatar Museums Authority chairperson Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Richard Serra, whose lack of an impressive title makes that list feel kind of anticlimactic.
The materials of Richard Serra’s two enormous new sculptures, currently dominating the Gagosian Gallery on 24th Street, will be recognizable to anyone who knows Mr. Serra’s work. They’re made from curved, continuous steel plates more than thirteen feet high, rusted into shades from powdery orange to Martian mahogany, and marked with what are or appear Read More