new-york

View of “Richard Serra,” 2013. From left: Equal (Corner Prop Piece), 1969–70; 5:30, 1969; V+5: To Michael Heizer, 1969; One Ton Prop (House of Cards), 1969.

Richard Serra

David Zwirner | 525 & 533 West 19th Street

View of “Richard Serra,” 2013. From left: Equal (Corner Prop Piece), 1969–70; 5:30, 1969; V+5: To Michael Heizer, 1969; One Ton Prop (House of Cards), 1969.

Richard Serra has a story he likes to tell—as he did recently to a group gathered for a preview of this magisterial, museum-quality survey of his works made between 1966 to 1971 mounted at David Zwirner’s imposingly soign. new digs on West Twentieth Street—about a formative moment in his life as an artist when, traveling around Europe while on a Fulbright, he encountered Las Meninas for the first time. His experience at the Prado was a revelation, he said, because he felt Vel.zquez had somehow managed to make him feel “implicated in the space of the painting,” something the fledgling painter simply could not imagine accomplishing with his own wall-based work. Serra was obviously not the first viewer to be wowed and confounded by Velázquez’s masterpiece—by the “subtle system of feints,” as Foucault described it, that produces the work’s “pure reciprocity”—but

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