Text by Eckhard Schneider, James Lawrence
With 2007’s monumental retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Richard Serra’s work in steel sculpture was affirmed as a decisive contribution to contemporary art. For more than 40 years he has been creating massive structures that guide and coerce the space around them, operating on equal terms with their environments instead of vanishing into them. But alongside these sculptures he has produced a large body of drawings whose specific material qualities and processual execution on flat surfaces suggest a material density and a physical presence comparable to sculpture. Serra sees drawing as one of the few activities in which he can comprehend the sources of his work – it allows him to “grasp the world.” The exhibition Drawings-Work Comes Out of Work presents six groups of works from the last 10 years in large-format illustrations and includes tantalizing photographic glimpses of the artist at work in his studio. Art historian James Lawrence contributes an essay on this hitherto under-published aspect of Serra’s oeuvre.