Widely regarded as one of the most influential American artists working today, Richard Serra is known in particular for his large steel sculptural forms, which deal primarily with investigations of weight, balance, density and scale, as well as their effect on the viewer’s sense of space. Serra’s relentless pursuit of these questions over the course of his celebrated career has deepened our understanding of the effects of sculpture on space and perception, and broadened the scope of what we allow the genre to address.
Published on the occasion of Serra’s 2015 exhibition “Equal” at David Zwirner, New York, this catalogue is the first in-depth overview of the artist’s works in forged steel. While he had already become known for his works in vulcanized rubber, lead and steel, Serra first began using forged steel after encountering a large-scale forge at a steel mill in Germany in 1977. Unlike casting, where steel is heated until molten and poured into a mold, forging is the process of changing metal’s shape while in a solid state, through extreme heat and pressure. Serra’s first forged sculpture was Berlin Block (For Charlie Chaplin) (1977) and since then he has used this material in different configurations and formats to create works that employ forged blocks, rounds or lintels. Bringing together over forty detailed plates of forged works, this book not only introduces us to an important aspect of Serra’s practice, but uses these works to return to the eternal questions of weight, balance and perception in his oeuvre.
Co-published with David Zwirner Books, New York