Richard Serra: Black and White will include works from several recent prints series as well as six new black oil Paintstick editions which explore the properties of weight, balance and gravity.
Few artists have pushed printmaking to such sculptural extremes as Richard Serra, who has been making prints for over 45 years. His monumental and physical way of working serves to convey weight, stability and density.
New works, such as Horizontal Reversals, 2017, are defined by the juxtaposition of two pieces of handmade paper framed together, that have each been divided by densely layered black pigment. This reversed composition offers a striking contrast between the weight of the black sections and the purity of the untouched white paper, as he explores the physical balance between light and dark.
The works are made using Paintstick, a combination of pigment, linseed oil, and melted wax. The mixture is moulded into large cylindrical sticks, then pressed down into a meat grinder and blended in an industrial dough mixer with silica. This is then applied in two layers, by a gloved hand, directly onto the handmade paper, pushing and rubbing in a downward direction. By layering the Paintstick, Serra asserts the physicality of the prints, which both absorb and reflect light, creating an overall matte, yet glistening, effect.
This exhibition runs concurrently to Sol LeWitt: Colour. Through LeWitt's and Serra's ground-breaking and radical approaches, both artists went on to become prolific printmakers, using their chosen media to undermine our understanding of what constitutes an editioned work.