With a Mallorcan father and Ukrainian mother, Richard Serra was raised in the post-war San Francisco (1939). His interest in literature led him to Berkeley, where he could afford to stay thanks to his work in a metallurgical foundry – which he himself later recognized would mark his entire career.
After finishing Literature, he moved to Yale to begin his studies in Fine Arts. There he had contact with personalities who made a dent in the sculptor such as Philip Guston, Morton Feldman or Josef Albers – with whom he developed the book “Interaction of colour” (1963) -. For three years, he travelled around Europe thanks to the various grants and awards he had received as a painter and sculptor. Paris, Florence and Rome were his home for a while, and he finally settled back in New York. By then his work as a sculptor was setting the standard for minimalism.
Serra: The alchemist of space
Serra’s work is naturally alive, playing with the properties of the material and the environment. Weight, or gravity, becomes a tangible vector, a visual lesson in the loads that belong to the piece as if it were its texture or colour, and that the eye assumes when it travels through the object.
The changes of state, temperature, texture or surface reactions turn the American into an alchemist, who through minimal and pure pieces, usually metallic, conjures up a kind of ritual over the space that surrounds him, making the spectator participate in an experience that goes through the piece, treating it in the first person through all the senses.
Serra’s career has had very controversial moments, and although his career has always been truly upward, critics have on more than one occasion questioned the monolithic material decisions of the American, which forced exhibition centres and individuals to carry out intricate strategies for the installation or the layout of certain pieces.
We leave you with a gallery with different images of the work of Richard Serra. Don’t miss it!