Sunday, 29 May 2011

Richard Serra

Richard Serra's work terrifies me. Huge sheet metal sculptures that loom above and curl around you, his works are expansive and intimidating, they make the viewer, lo the person who is experiencing them, to feel very insignificant. Something grander, something lifeless yet will live forever, something alien. Serra's work is ominous but he is probably my favourite living sculptor.

He also seems to be my kind of guy, in this interview he sums up his attitude as 'I don't give a shit but I care quite a lot.' Which is something I can relate to.

Richard Serra also had some trouble concerning a site-specific work in Manhattan:

'In the early morning hours of March 15, 1989, the culmination of an eight-year struggle between government bureaucracy and the artist Richard Serra took place. Serra's site-specific structure, Tilted Arc,1981, was removed from 26 Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan, despite overwhelming local and worldwide support for its remaining at that site. The General Services Administration (GSA) established a complex arrangement of checks and balances with the selection and commission of this work, but the response from civil servants and others working in and around the Plaza was uncompromising: Tilted Arc would have to go. William Diamond, the GSA's New York Regional Administrator, had recommended (after three days of hearings that seem to suggest a solution other than the one implemented) that the sculpture be relocated, with a panel selected by the GSA and including Serra himself. This ruling outraged Serra. He claimed that because the sculpture was site-specific, to remove it would be the equivalent of destroying the piece. In addition Serra filed a $30 million lawsuit against the GSA to prevent the government agency from removing the sculpture. He cited as his defense breach of contract, trademark violations, copyright infringement and the violation of First and Fifth Amendment rights (Serra, May 1989, 137). Unfortunately, after months of legal wrangling, the courts stayed the original decision, and Tilted Arc was no more.'

You can carry on reading: here, it is truly facintanating.

So, head over here to find the irritating Gagosian Gallery website.

Head here to view with friendly Google.

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