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"Richard Serra"
1999-03-27 until 1999-09-17
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
Bilbao, , ES Spain

One of the preeminent sculptors of the twentieth century, Richard Serra (born in California in 1939) has long been acclaimed for his challenging and innovative work, which emphasizes the process of its fabrication, characteristics of materials, and an engagement with viewer and site. In the early 1960s, Serra and the Minimalist artists of his generation turned to unconventional, industrial materials and began to accentuate the physical properties of their work. Relieved of its symbolic role, freed from the traditional pedestal, and introduced into the real space of the viewer, sculpture took on a new relationship to the spectator, whose own experience of an object became crucial to its meaning.

Viewers were encouraged to move around--and sometimes on, in, and through--the work and encounter it from multiple perspectives. Many of Serras sculptures (including those on view) cannot be fully understood without a peripatetic examination. Over the years Serra has expanded his spatial and temporal approach to sculpture and has focused primarily on large-scale, site-specific works, which create a dialogue with a particular architectural, urban, or landscape setting.

The current exhibition presents Serras Torqued Ellipses, the artists most recent ruminations on the physicality of space and the nature of sculpture. The ongoing series of ellipses, eight of which are included in the exhibition, remain tied to the artistic vocabulary Serra has developed over the past thirty years, but also reflect a significant departure. While the physicality of space has long been a concern for the artist, in these new works space has become his material.


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