b. 1938 San Francisco, California
Serra studied painting at Yale University where fellow alumni of the 1960s include Brice Marden, Chuck Close, Nancy Graves, and Robert Mangold. Whilst there, Serra worked with Josef Albers on his book The Interaction of Color (1963). Serra was profoundly affected by his work in steel mills as a student and visiting Constantin Brancusi’s studio in Paris in 1964. His first solo exhibition was in Rome in 1966 and later that year he moved to New York where he began exhibiting regularly at Leo Castelli Gallery. Friends and contemporaries included Carl Andre, Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt.
Though his work consists of painting, prints and experimental video, it is sculpture that has been his primary focus. Through the use of untraditional materials and techniques such as fiberglass and rubber he uniquely challenged and radicalised the definition of the medium. Gradually growing in scale, his immersive and often site-specific work awes and engages the viewer and the landscape. Particularly renowned for his monumental arcs and spirals made from large rolls and sheets of metal (Corten steel) he questions our experience of space and our position in it.
Serra participated in Nine Young Artists at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1969 and had his first solo museum exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum, California, 1970. Exhibitions include; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1977–78); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1980, 2014, and 2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris (1983–84); MOMA, New York (1986 and 2007) and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1992). In 2014 the Qatar Museums Authority presented a two-venue retrospective survey of Serra’s work. Richard Serra Lives and works in Tribeca, New York and Inverness County, Nova Scotia.