Richard Serra

(b. 1939)
Lot 225
Richard Serra
Videy Afangar #2, #6, and #9 (3)
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $9,375
October 22, 2017
Lot 227
Richard Serra
Circuit
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $11,250
October 22, 2017
Lot 228
Richard Serra
Untitled
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $3,750
October 22, 2017
Lot 82
Richard Serra
Vesturey I
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $12,500
May 21, 2017
Lot 162
Richard Serra
Videy Afangar #2 (from Videy Afangar Series)
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
Price Realized: $3,750
March 5, 2017
Lot 368
Richard Serra
Tujunga Blacktop
Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000
Price Realized: $10,000
October 11, 2015
Lot 195
Richard Serra
Cool Down
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $8,125
May 17, 2015
Lot 101
Richard Serra
Clinton '96
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $5,000
March 1, 2015
Lot 102
Richard Serra
MOCA Print (from The MOCA Portfolio)
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
Price Realized: $8,750
March 1, 2015
Lot 373
Richard Serra
Untitled
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
Price Realized: $3,125
October 12, 2014
Lot 153
Richard Serra
Untitled
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $3,437
May 18, 2014
Lot 45
Richard Serra
Videy Afangar #2 (Videy Afangar Series)
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
Price Realized: $3,375
February 23, 2014
Lot 416
Richard Serra
Paths and Edges #8
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $5,625
December 16, 2012
Lot 407
Richard Serra
Studies (Plans for Sculpture) (2)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $2,812
October 7, 2012
Lot 129
Richard Serra
Hreppholar VIII
Estimate: $6,000 - $9,000
Price Realized: $10,000
May 6, 2012
Lot 54
Richard Serra
Promendade Notebook Drawing III
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
Price Realized: $4,062
December 11, 2011
Lot 265
Richard Serra
Promenade Etchihngs (suite of 5)
Estimate: $14,000 - $16,000
Price Realized: $15,925
December 6, 2009
Lot 295
Richard Serra
Viday Afangar #9
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $1,920
February 10, 2008

About The Artist

 

As a young man, American sculptor Richard Serra (b. 1939) spent his summers working at the steel mill, an experience that would later inform the multi-ton and multi-story Cor-ten steel sculptures that the artist is so well known for. As he recounted to The New Yorker in 2002: “I started [working at the steel mill] when I was 15. It was very useful. It’s probably why I do what I do.”

Serra was born in San Francisco and earned his BA in English literature at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara before receiving an MFA in 1964 from Yale, where he studied alongside classmates including Brice Marden and Chuck Close. Post-graduation, he received grants to live in Paris and Florence, and presented his first solo show at Galleria La Salita in Rome in 1966. 

That same year, Serra moved to New York City, where he befriended Minimalist Donald Judd and earthworks artist Robert Smithson—the three artists would often come to be lumped together for their brute and “macho” artwork. Serra reinforced this categorization by creating highly physical and performative artworks that entailed splashing molten lead onto floors and walls in the 1960s. In 1970, Serra had his first solo show in the United States with Leo Castelli in New York, featuring an arrangement of minimalist steel plates and rods. It was around this time that Serra made the shift to large-scale, outdoor, public sculpture. Spin Out (1972-73), a set of three Cor-Ten steel plates at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterloo, Holland, was among the first of these large-scale sculptures.

In 1981, Serra’s 120-foot-long and 12-foot high Titled Arc (1981, destroyed), commissioned by the Arts-in-Architecture program of the U.S. General Services Administration and installed in Federal Plaza, New York City, incited a national controversy and a lingering and fiery discussion was sustained throughout the 1980s and 90s regarding public art. Serra explained of the artwork: "The viewer becomes aware of himself and of his movement through the plaza. As he moves, the sculpture changes. Contraction and expansion of the sculpture result from the viewer's movement. Step by step the perception not only of the sculpture but of the entire environment changes." Museum curators and art world experts deemed it a great work of art, while the public, namely the employees and citizens that frequented the building, felt it to be a nuisance and a disruption of public space, and joined in efforts to have it removed. Serra responded impertinently at the time: "I don't think it is the function of art to be pleasing. Art is not democratic. It is not for the people." The piece was ultimately cut into three pieces and ignobly dumped in a scrap metal yard, but nevertheless, Serra continued to gain public and private commissions the world over. The list of publically viewable large-scale sculptures by Serra is long, and includes sites such as the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle; Gap Inc. headquarters, San Francisco; the plaza of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center at UCLA; the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; and an 80-foot high sculpture in Doha, Qatar commissioned by the Qatar Museums Authority. In 2014, Serra unveiled a second sculpture in Qatar, reaching lengths of over half a mile.

Serra’s work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

 

Schjeldahl, Peter. “Industrial Strength: A Richard Serra Retrospective.” The New Yorker 11 June 2007. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
Tomkins, Calvin. “Man of Steel.” The New Yorker 5 Aug 2002. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
“Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc.” Culture Shock: Visual Arts. PBS.org. PBS Online. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

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