Richard Serra, The Matter of Time, 1994–2005. Patinated Steel © Guggenheim Bilbao Muse

Richard Serra

Richard Serra © Jason Andrew/ Getty Images

San Francisco, EE.UU., 1939.

What interests me is the opportunity for all of us to become something different from what we are, by constructing spaces that contribute something to the experience of who we are.

Richard worked in steel mills to support himself while attending the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara. This experience helped him to understand how to work with metal, especially with steel, a material he has continued using throughout his career. The industrial and constructive aspect has continued to be present in his work throughout his career.

Discarding conventional methods for delineating volume and ensuring mass, such as carving and welding, Serra started creating precarious sculptures that are sustained by virtue of balance and gravity. Works in a constant state of tension that reveal the process of its own production. Serra includes in this series of compositional verbs the action of “cutting” and realizes a series of large-scale steel sculptures, variations of which he continues to produce. Serra progressively approached sculptures of increasing size and weight, creating site-specific pieces for commissions in the nature and in the city.

Preserving its initial minimalist aesthetic, Serra’s work acquired recognition for its physicality, which gets emphasized by its impressive size and weight and by his proposal of sculpture as an experience in itself.