Artist biography

Richard Serra born 1939

American sculptor, draughtsman and film-maker, born in San Francisco. Studied at the University of California (Berkeley and Santa Barbara) 1957-61 and at Yale University School of Art and Architecture, New Haven, 1961-4. Lived in Paris and Italy 1964-6, then settled in New York. Met Eva Hesse, Steve Reich, Judd, Nauman and others. First one-man exhibition at the Galleria La Salita, Rome, 1966. Worked 1966-7 mainly with rubber, including hanging units like thick harness juxtaposed with a tangled network of neon lights. Then turned to floor pieces: a horizontal wooden form with lighted candles, floor sheets in moulded latex rubber, torn and scattered crumpled pieces of sheet lead, and splashed molten lead. Began in 1969 to be primarily concerned with the cutting, propping or stacking of lead sheets, rough timber, etc., to create structures, some very large, supported only by their own weight; emphasis on the process of making and the character of the material. Also made films concerned with process, e.g. Hand catching Lead 1968. Since 1970-1 has made various large-scale exterior and landscape pieces, as well as monumental black drawings in charcoal or paintstick. Lives in New York.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.679