Text by Hal Foster
Published to celebrate the critically acclaimed 2013 exhibition at David Zwirner in New York, a show that The New York Times art critic Ken Johnson called “near perfect,” Richard Serra: Early Work devotes over three hundred pages to a key five-year period of the artist’s earliest work. Anchored by exquisite black-and-white plates, from installation views of works in situ to documentary photographs, this “impressively realized” publication offers “a blow-by-blow account of Serra’s rapidly expanding art-world presence,” as described in a Bookforum review. Focusing specifically on work the artist produced during the period between 1966 and 1971, this classic tome documents the significance of his early work, with archival texts and reviews, alongside new scholarship by American art critic and historian Hal Foster.
Produced in close collaboration with the artist, this monograph aims to reconsider the groundbreaking practices and ideas that so firmly situate Serra in the history of twentieth-century art. Its stunning selection of seminal works illuminates the debut of the artist’s innovative, process-oriented experiments with nontraditional materials, such as vulcanized rubber, neon, and lead, and introduces the interplay of gravity and material—of "verticality and horizontality,” writes Foster—that would remain a fundamental aspect of Serra’s production over the subsequent decades. Also featured in the publication are key early examples of the artist’s work in steel, as well as stills from some of his most important early films.