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SERRA IN THE DESERT

Richard Serra, East-West/West-East, 2014, weatherproof steel. Installation view, Brouq Nature Reserve, Qatar. Photo: Cristiano Mascaro. © Richard Serra/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

EAST-WEST/WEST-EAST is a new sculpture by Richard Serra commissioned by Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani of Qatar; it is located in the Brouq Nature Reserve in the western portion of this tiny state in the Gulf enriched by its holdings of gas and oil. To arrive at the desert site, you drive west from Doha for forty miles (almost the width of the country), passing one construction site after another on a vast freeway, and then, suddenly, the landscape becomes almost lunar in its vacancy. Exiting via Camel Underpass No. 7, you travel seven or eight more miles on a makeshift road until the sculpture appears in the distance. Depending on the time of day and year, you are likely to be alone.

East-West/West-East consists of four steel plates arrayed vertically at irregular intervals in a straight line about a half mile in length along the compass points of the title. Anchored by supports of

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