RICHARD SERRA (b. 1939)
Born in 1938 in San Francisco, Richard Serra studied art at Yale University in the early 1960s under Joseph Albers, Philip Guston, and the experimental composer Morton Feldman. As a young artist, Serra made process-driven sculptures and drawings from nontraditional industrial materials, accentuating the physical properties of his art. Interested in the invention of form, Serra’s work is typically discerned physically rather than optically. His interest in physical form is particularly evident in his large folding steel sculptures which are supported only by their own weight. These sculptures engage the viewer by activating one’s perception of space and physical relationship to objects. These sculptures, as well as Serra’s wider oeuvre, were instrumental in forming the idea of site-specific art.
Since Serra’s first solo museum exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1970, his sculptures and drawings have been the subject of two retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Internationally, Serra has participated in numerous exhibitions, including documenta (1972, 1977, 1982, and 1987), in Kassel, Germany; the Venice Biennales of 1980, 1984, 2001, and 2013; and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s annual and biennial exhibitions of 1968, 1970, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1995, and 2006.
Serra’s work is included in the collection of nearly every major modern art museum worldwide including the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Tate Gallery, London, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.