1939 (San Francisco, California)
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site-specific geometric sculpure
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Known for large-scale steel sculpture of geometric designs, Richard
Serra has created site-specific pieces that make three-dimensional
designs in space. He has also made wall reliefs and floor
sculpture from flexible materials that suggest organic shapes. He
is committed to the idea of utilizing quality materials and to the
concept that process is as important as the final result. |
was born in San Francisco and attended college at Berkeley and Santa
Barbara, majoring in English Literature. He studied art at Yale
University, earning a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. in 1964. There he
worked with Josef Albers and came into contact with many leading
artists of the New York School (Abstract Expressionists). He also
had a job working in a steel plant, which had lasting influence on his
career. On a Fulbright Scholarship, he studied in France and
Italy. In 1977, he married Clara Wyergraf.
to steel as a medium for his sculptures, Serra has utilized rubber
belts, neon tubes, molten lead, and large metal slabs. In 1968 he
made his first Splash-piece, where molten lead was thrown
against the point at which floor and wall meet. His 'Prop series"
began around 1969 and involved placing large lead sheets against each
other, several yards apart, or hung from ceilings.
Many of his pieces are enormous three-dimensional configurations from
steel beams and steel plates. His goal is to "create a 'field
force . . . so that space is discerned physically rather than
optically' " (Baigell, 323).
Based in New York City, Serra has
traveled extensively to oversee his numerous site-specific sculptures
including one for Videy Island near Reykjavik, Iceland. Consisting of
nine pairs of basalt columns along the periphery of the island, it has
been the most time consuming of his works. He also spends several
months a year on Cape Breton island in Nova Scotia "to fill up the
Matthew Baigell, "Dictionary of American Art"
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"
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