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Richard Serra

American  •  b. 1938

Biography

Richard Serra is an American artist commonly associated with Minimalism and the Process Art movement. Though perhaps best known for his monumental works made from industrial steel, Serra has also worked extensively in painting and printmaking. After attending the University of California, Berkeley, he earned his MFA from Yale, where he became friends and collaborators with classmates such as Frank Stella, Chuck Close and Nancy Graves, to whom Serra was married for five years. Later working in New York, Serra was inspired by Minimalist contemporaries such as Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt, who valued the work of creation more than the finished artwork itself.

Serra’s work is installed permanently at the Guggenheim Bilbao, and can also be found in the collections of Dia:Beacon, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Tate, London.

Insights

  • Serra’s first solo show took place in the Leo Castelli Warehouse in 1969.

  • The artist has been celebrated with two major retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York: Richard Serra/Sculpture (1986) and Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years (2007).

  • Serra’s publicly-funded work Tilted Arc was erected in Manhattan’s Foley Square in 1979, but had to eventually be removed following a public outcry and years of litigation. The famous work is currently kept in storage.

“I consider space to be a material. The articulation of space has come to take precedence over other concerns. I attempt to use sculptural form to make space distinct.”

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