On Thursday, 26 August 2010, the art galleries to the left of the river Limmat celebrate the opening of the season with big names and big works. Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie
start off with the American artist Richard Serra (b. 1939 San Francisco). In the rooms of g27, six large-format prints from a rarely available edition will be presented to a Zurich audience for the first time.
Though his prints are less well known than his steel sculptures, Richard Serra manages to translate the weight and monumentality of his three-dimensional work onto paper. The powerful interplay of statics and dynamics, of balance and proportion that characterises Serra's steel plate objects, determines also the artist's graphic work, albeit in a reduced and compacted form that reaches beyond the confines of the paper.
Determined by their sheer size, the prints tower above the viewer. Also in two dimensions, Serra's works appear monumental, thereby encouraging a personal contemplation on perception. The exhibited work 'Back to Black', for instance, reveals traceable signs of its creation. Richard Serra reflects lightness in weight and weight in lightness.
Printing enables the artist to analyse the relation between his massive sculptures and the space they claim. The resulting works represent studies frequently made after the completion of the respective three-dimensional object and form an enquiry into its individual nature and the questions that arose during its creation. The artist's interest lies in the process underlying the actual making of a print, the technique and the qualities of the materials, rather than in the actual possibility of reproduction. Richard Serra compares printing with 'alchemy'.
The link between Serra's prints and his sculptural work is undeniable. Far from being merely of marginal importance, as frequently assumed, they constitute an integral part within his artistic work.
The first viewing of these special prints in Zurich finally closes a gap for collectors, connoisseurs and art lovers. This presentation enables a new approach to the work of one of the most well-known sculptors in steel - a true discovery.
Biography: Richard Serra (*1939, in San Francisco, USA) studied at the University of California in Berkeley. In 1961 he graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in English literature. Three years later he graduated from Yale University with both a BFA and a MFA. For his artistic works he has been awarded the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture (1975), the Praemium Imperiale by the Japan Art Association (1994), and Order Pour le mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste (2002). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, has shown two career retrospectives, in 1986 and 2007. Serras works has been presented in numerous solo exhibitions in museums like the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, the Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, among many others. Richard Serra lives today in New York and Nova Scotia.