|The artist in his exhibition
My expectations were not high for the Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His monumental, simple sculptures hardly seemed likely to be very impressive in sketch form. But as the artist has mentioned in interviews, this body of work is separate from his sculpture–and his black or two-toned large drawings interact with the space and the viewer in some of the same ways his sculptures do and maintain the impressive scale one is used to in his work. For clarification, see above: those black walls enclosing the artist are the drawing.
Altogether, walking through the galleries was a zen experience, and not just because the crowds from the Alexander McQueen show hadn’t stumbled in. The large shapes and neutral palate (more on his use of black below) gave focus to the experience of walking through the exhibition, and noticing how the works interacted with the space, and my space.
From an interview with the artist on Artinfo.com:
Serra’s comment on black having weight seems very true in this show. The works pictured here are mostly from the mid-1970s, when Serra started using black paintstick, a mixture of pigment, oil, and wax. He has continued to use paintstick to make thick black textured surfaces from the first ‘Installation Drawings,’ monumental works on canvas or linen pinned directly to the wall and thickly covered with black paintstick, to the work he created specifically for the Met’s exhibition in 2011.