Richard Serra

Castelli Gallery uptown, School of Visual Arts

Having said that, let me add that I regard Richard Serra as a sculptor whose work stands comparison with any from the past or present, and that it is’ with this in mind that I’m going to express certain reservations about his drawings. Serra’s sculpture presents one with an incredibly beautiful dislocation of physical space by steel. However, when this dislocation becomes the subject of a two-dimensional work, other elements seem to intrude that undermine the efficacy of the piece. Serra’s feeling for steel seems to oblige him to work in a way that transfers, or wants to transfer, that material’s properties to the sheet of canvas or paper. But what happens is not quite that. Paper is a precious material, surrounded and protected by convention, and Serra’s treatment of it comes across as—in part—a willful attempt to abuse that preciousness. The smudges and smears he often insists on read,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 1974 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.