5 lithographs by Richard Serra (paper sized up to 133 cm x 205 cm) occupy the entire space in the Buchmann Box
In 1989, while visiting Item Edition in Paris, Richard Serra discovered a lithography stone that was much bigger than conventional stones in its format and weight. At 190 cm x 136 cm this stone borders on the limits of what the material and the technique can achieve, and Serra was immediately inspired to start working on a series which led to the five sheets presented in this exhibition: Min, Opéra Comique, Père Lachaise, Decisions on the Stone and Rue Ligner. Only very rarely does one have the opportunity to see all five sheets as a complete installation.
For Richard Serra drawing and graphics are linked to and inspired by his sculptural practice. At the same time, however, they possess for him independence and their own intrinsic value. Since the early seventies he has repeatedly returned to exploring the potential of prints, and this discourse has become an important part of his oeuvre.
Just like the size and shape Richard Serras sculptures are always associated with their relationship to the viewer and the room, the tension between the individual works is also tangible in these lithographs. The movement in the room creates an ever-changing perspective and relationship with the lithographs and their dense black areas.
Richard Serra has written about this phenomenon: Black is a property, not a quality. In terms of weight, black is heavier, creates a larger volume, holds itself in a more compressed field. It is comparable to forging. (Richard Serra, Notes on Drawing, Rizzoli, New York, 1987)
If one considers the enormous power with which paper, stone and ink have been pressed together to create these lithographs then the association with the steel sculptures is evident.
For Richard Serra ... to use black is the clearest way of marking against a white field, no matter whether you use lead or charcoal or paint stick. It is also the clearest way of marking without creating associative meanings. You can cover a surface with black without risking metaphorical and other misreadings. A canvas covered with black remains an extension of drawing in that it is an extension of marking. The use of any other color would be the extension of coloration, with its unavoidable allusions to nature. From Gutenberg on, black has been synonymous with a graphic or print procedure. I am interested in the mechanization of the graphic procedure; I am not interested in the paint-allusion gesture. (Richard Serra, Notes on Drawing, Rizzoli, New York, 1987)