04 February 2014

Art I like - Richard Serra

Inside Out by Richard Serra (2013; weatherproof steel) is, he says, "two long walls on the outside of the piece that are probably about 81 feet long ... an open space that you walk into, and also an open volume that you can walk into. The open space is a path that goes into a centre that then opens into other spaces where you can go right or left, or there's a space in front of you and another behind you, and there's another path that leads out. but you might find it quite disorienting because once you get in there you're not quite sure where you are, or where you should go, even though there's always a path that will lead you somewhere, but you can't anticipate where that will be.

"Then there's two exterior spaces that you can walk into, which are the outside of these interior spaces, but when you walk into them, you're in the inside of the outside. And so we called the piece Inside Out."
Intrigued as I am by this piece, trying to relate the description to the photo is disorienting...those spaces at the left back and centre back would be the exterior spaces?? Quite possibly you need to have walked through the space (or designed the piece) to really link words and image. (It's a maze ... describe the path through a maze -- or, is it two labyrinths?) Never mind, it's intriguing and can have a lot of emotional resonance.

Walk through the sculpture via this video, about 2/3 of the way through. First he describes three other pieces, one of which is made of slabs of steel, 8 feet high, 8 inches thick and 40 feet long, each weighing 51 tons, set at various angles - walking into the corners "give you an experience that's different from architecture... the amount of compression and release that you get from walking into the various angles".

Serra's The Matter of Time (2005) is at the Guggenheim Bilbao - seven curvy sculptures in that rusty steel. The museum's website sums up Serra's sculptural innovation:
"Richard Serra has long been acclaimed for his challenging and innovative work. As an emerging artist in the early 1960s, Serra helped change the nature of artistic production. Along with the Minimalist artists of his generation, he turned to unconventional, industrial materials and accentuated the physical properties of his work. Freed from the traditional pedestal or base and introduced into the real space of the viewer, sculpture took on a new relationship to the spectator, whose experience of an object became crucial to its meaning. Viewers were encouraged to move around—and sometimes on, in, and through—the work and encounter it from multiple perspectives. "
"Shifting in unexpected ways as viewers walk in and around them, these sculptures
create a dizzying, unforgettable sensation of space in motion."
Trip Hammer and a few others, and some drawings, are in the collection of the Tate, and the huge Fulcrum stands near Liverpool Street Station (not everyone likes it!).


magsramsay said...

That piece at the Guggenheim was what we remember most from Bilbao. The walls curving outwards or inwards are quite disorientating and there were strange distortions of sound.

Kathleen Loomis said...

I've seen/walked Serra pieces in Los Angeles and Dia/Beacon -- they are mesmerizing. Hope I can see more in London this summer.