new-york

Richard Serra

Blum/Heiman Gallery

When it is successful, Richard Serra’s work has a highly-charged presence that is strangely at odds with his neo-Constructivist, anti-Expressionist ethic. When he fails to achieve that tension, though, his work is merely good-looking, with its devices exposed as the facile tricks of a master cosmetician. Shorn of grace, his sculptures are reduced to being nothing more than public works.

When he first started making his big wall drawings he came close to doing the impossible, because they make sense in relation to his sculpture without being in the suspect class of “sculptors’ drawings.” They are simply drawings, material and process combined in a direct way, providing as direct and uncompromising an effect as possible. One can admire the intelligence which produced them, and feel moved by their presentness, a rare enough combination. So it is all the more disappointing to come across this

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