Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Richard Serra At Barbara Krakow

Just got back from looking at the Serra prints at Bab's fabulous gallery here in Boston. When I was at LACMA, I got to see some of Serra's large metal sculptures. Dude, for real, they are spiritually moving works of art. They gave me faith in Serra, someone who I had gotten sick of. I lost the faith mostly because I've seen so many of his prints. They are just plain one trick ponies that demean the impressive work he has done in sculpture.

No change here. See the show if you are local, but otherwise, it's a big black geometric shape on paper with tons of ink. Mostly printed by Gemini, they are well done, so, it's good for what it is, but what it is, is boring.

They were photographing a Sol LeWitt 75 print suite titled some combination of stripes, colors, and squares that I can't remember because I didn't write it down. I can't imagine publishing that project. They were punchy after photographing 75 of those images, imagine running 75 solid flats and stripe prints. Mindnumbing optical fatigue.


  1. Richard Serra prints have certainly become an industry unto themselves, but I would like to read some kind of analysis if you would ever be so inclined. I am very much biased as to the prints that best represent his sculptural interests so I will add no opinion at this time. Which prints are most successful? Techniques? Does scale make a difference? Just food for thought...

  2. Hey thanks for the comment!

    You don't want me to go into it. I find nothing interesting about these prints. Seriously. Nothing. In short, I think that they are childish simplifications of Serra's sculpture that makes his work look insignificant. I think that the 2-d process reduces his meaningful initial inspiration down to satirical images with comedic titles.

  3. I would think that most Richards Serra's sculptures originate out of sketches in 2-d form. Isn't there some value to seeing how he works with shapes in media such as drawing and printmaking?

  4. Have to agree with the Serra/Drawings. He knows quite a bit about drawing and the history of it. One of my Profs from Tufts interviewed him for hours, and I've heard him talk about how the space is only understood by his dragging the pencil across the paper. Some of his drawings are wonderfully inventive and inform his process-- they should be sought out.

    check out the surface on these 08 drawings.
    They are made from paint sticks, steel, and rubbing. You could argue that they are monoprints. But compare those lush surfaces to the prints, and you see how he's selling commodity priced prints with little resemblance to the drawings or the sculptures.

    He's filling orders, not making work.
    Sacrilege. I know. Don't get me started on Jim Dine...