"Few artists have pushed drawing to such sculptural and even architectural extremes as Mr. Serra."
Roberta Smith in New York Times, April 2011
The Alan Cristea Gallery will present the first exhibition in the UK devoted to Richard Serra's prints from 11 September - 5 October 2013 at 34 Cork Street. Serra is an artist well known for his monumental sculpture which explores and defies concepts of weight, balance and gravity. Since the 1970s prints and drawings have also been an important part of his practice and this exhibition will introduce audiences to the artist's equally prolific work as a printmaker.
This exhibition focuses on three groups of etchings from the past ten years. Extension and Trajectory are both part of the Arc of the Curve series from 2004, and examine movement through space and the curve of a line, from broad, sweeping gestures to slight bends and turns. Some lean dramatically; others stoop. In contrast, Ballast (2011), is a series dealing with weight, stability and control; the black mass sits at the bottom of the sheet, revealing a small glimpse of white paper at the top. These prints are serious, minimal and sculptural - a closer look at their surface reveals a highly pitted, three-dimensional, intaglio landscape.
In order to achieve the texture in these etchings, a 'found' surface in the form of an exterior stucco wall was used. Frosted mylar was taped to the wall and then lithographic rubbing ink was applied. The texture of the wall was then transferred to a copper plate photographically using a light sensitive emulsion, and the plate was then subjected to the traditional etching process using a tank of acid (Ferric Chloride).
Richard Serra was born in 1939 in San Francisco. He studied from 1957 to 1961 at the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara, and from 1961 to 1964 at Yale University in New Haven, CT, where he worked with Josef Albers on his Interaction of Color (New Haven, 1963). He was elected Honorary Academician at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 1995. He currently lives and works in New York and Nova Scotia.
His drawings were shown at the Serpentine in 1993 and his exhibition Weight and Measure was held at the Tate in 1992. His public sculpture can be found all over the world and selected solo exhibitions and retrospectives include: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2011); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2011); Menil Collection, Houston (2011); Monumenta, Grand Palais, Paris (2008); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2008); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006); San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art (2006); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2005). Serra's works are housed in the collections of Kunstmuseum Basel, the Guggenheim Museums, Bilbao and New York, Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.