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Snapshot 23

I was walking by the new SFMOMA extension the other night, and inside the window you can see the form of Richard Serra‘s Torqued series steel sculptures. I am excited, as this series of Serra’s work is monumental and physical, with the experience being immersive: your senses, your body, experiences this work.

Richard Serra Dia Beacon

The first time I really saw Serra’s work – where I experienced the work – was at Dia Beacon in upstate New York. Large sculptures lined a wing of this former factory building, and the space in early January was devoid of people. The effect of the steel rising overhead, compressing and expanding the quiet space, was thrilling.

Richard Serra Dia Beacon

Yet, the piece of Serra’s that I am most excited to see again at SFMOMA is his site-specific Gutter Corner Splash: Night Shift (1969/1995), which was created then buried behind the wall of the temporary exhibition space. 6 tons of lead was melted, thrown, and peeled away from the wall once cool. This body of work, started in the 1960’s, is intended to show the action of “process”. Melting, splashing, casting; you can see the process {here}.

Richard Serra, Corner Gutter Splash 2

Richard Serra, Corner Gutter Splash action shot Richard Serra, Corner Gutter Splash action shot

This piece is physical, cerebral, and temporal. The medium, once cooled, is unstable, being both soft and unable to hold shape, and none of these pieces from the 1960’s survive. Hopefully this piece survives intact and on display in the new SFMOMA incarnation.

David Bjørngaard, December 2015


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