Skip to content
exhibition: Richard Serra: Sculptures from 1967 and 1968

dates: 15 January - 28 February 2004

This exhibition consists of extremely rare and seldom seen early sculptures by Richard Serra, all experimental by nature in both form and materials.

As if generated from Serra's famous "Verb List" drawing from 1967-68, these important early works tested the formal limits of sculpture by first choosing non-art materials (plumbers' lead sheets, rubberized cloth, vulcanized rubber, wooden construction materials, candles) and then finding form though their manipulation: rolling, crumpling, burning, leaning, tearing...

All the works exhibited were made before Serra made his first "Prop" sculpture (later in 1968), and in these seminal sculptures one finds both a formal and conceptual foundation for much ofhis later work. These sculptures speak of a startlingly inventive new sculptural vocabulary that was remarkable for its time, but that also still seems fresh and full of possibility.

Included in the exhibition are two works in wood from 1967 that have never before been shown or reproduced; one of only eight Lead Roll sculptures; two works from the small group made from vulcanized rubber; the larger of only two sculptures made from a line of utility candles (the smaller version of which is owned by the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam); and a large sculpture made of many joined pieces of rubberized cloth, similar to the Scatter Piece installation now at DIA: Beacon.

The invitation card publishes for the first time a portrait by Peter Moore of Richard Serra in his studio (2 June 1968), surrounded by six sculptures from that period, two of which are included in the present exhibition. (Of the other four sculptures, one no longer exists; one is at DIA: Beacon; one is owned by the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the fourth is owned by the Pompidou in Paris.)