Richard Serra

I saw the Richard Serra retrospective ‘Sculpture: Forty Years’ last summer at MoMA. Walking through and around his pieces really affected me and although it’s now a year later, I’m again infatuated with the idea of space and large works of art.

The way he describes an artist’s path in the video interview below is terrific. And he draws every day…

This is not a man for whom the term art is taken lightly. Artists for him, are the supreme arbitrators of intellectual problems in their field. That excludes architects and buildings, furniture, craftsmen of all kinds, and the idea that a person is a work of art. 

“Art is purposefully useless and that’s what makes it more free than buildings.  There are aspects in buildings that you can say deal with the providence of sculpture or that deal with the overlay of painting. …Buildings are not works of art, they have something to do with religion and social contexts of the time and keeping people under a certain kind of moral imperative about transcendence and God, but they have nothing to do with the nature of what art has always been. 

Culture gives architects more prestige because their signs and symbols are more apparent. But most of what you see in architecture are watered down ideas of sculptors who have come before.
In order to persevere you have to be obstinate, marginalized, stay away from a certain aspect of the sociability of the art world. Culture is what’s done to us, it does something else for artists but doesn’t have much respect for them. It’s (sculpture, art) not part of the dialogue that the world of consumerism deals with. It’s always been ridiculed and isn’t easily an supportable market commodity.”

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