Apr 13

Richard Serra-“World’s Greatest Living Sculptor” New Work

Richard Serra, at the age of 74, is totally invested in his new work…in the desert on the west coast of Qatar. I have admired his public work in St. Louis at The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, in Downtown St. Louis, and at Laumeier Sculpture Park for ever so long.

See more below:

Richard Serra's 'East-West/West-East' in Qatar (Qatar Museum Authority/Rik Van Lent)

Richard Serra’s ‘East-West/West-East’ in Qatar (Qatar Museum Authority/Rik Van Lent)


The man routinely referred to as the world’s greatest living sculptor – voted third greatest living artist in a Vanity Fair poll last year – is worried. “This is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done,” says Richard Serra, talking about his latest work. “It’s a piece that I’d really like to be seen, and I don’t know if it will.”

Still sinewy, but now more softly spoken, the 74-year-old American “Man of Steel” looks fretful. This might seem strange; don’t crowds flock to Serra exhibitions across the continents? But the work in question, East-West/West-East, is hardly in the most accessible of locations – in the middle of the desert in the Zekreet Peninsula on the west coast of Qatar, an hour’s drive from the capital, Doha.

Why, then, did he choose this place to erect the four steel plates, two of which rise 14.7 metres above the ground and the others 16.7 metres, which, adjusted for the topography, means that they are all level with each other, and with the gypsum plateaus either side?

“I’ve been coming here for about 12 years,” says Serra, over tea at the Four Seasons hotel in Doha. He was introduced to Sheikha Mayassa, Chairperson of the country’s Museums Authority and the sister of Qatar’s new Emir, by IM Pei, the architect of Doha’s iconic Museum of Islamic Art, when she was still a student.

“And when I first came Sheikha Mayassa said to me, ‘you should build a piece in the landscape’. I said, ‘what landscape?’ She said, ‘the desert’.” Serra replied that he’d never had any desire to build in the desert, but that he’d go and take a look. When he did, the site at Zekreet “really caught my imagination. You have a ground plane and then an elevation of about 16 metres, so it’s a bit like you have two elevation planes within one field.” For an artist who says “I consider space to be my primary material,” that was an exciting prospect.

Link to independent.co.uk  from where I have reproduced the above portion is below


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