Art@Site Richard Serra Elevational Circles: In and Out Bochum

Richard Serra


Elevational Circles: In and Out

Schlosspark Haus Weitmar
Richard Serra makes us experience art 100%
Richard Serra doesn’t make any concessions.
This is 100% art.
A metal disc is laying in a grassy field, a metal disc is located on the tree line.
It is up to the viewer to do something with it. What should I do? I would take a walk around it. During the trail along one and the other disc, I would see different perspectives. I would note that the disc is not changed, but the environment does.
It is up to the viewer to be open for an experience. What would I feel? I would experience the freedom to choose my position. I could take a long or short time to stand still near a disc and reflect about the meaning of a disc. I would see a variety of colors of the grass and the trees. I could think about the meaning of art and nature.
It is up to the viewer to give meaning to it. Which meaning would I assign? I would recognize that art is an experience. Art. And the art in the surroundings.
I am happy that Richard teaches us not to make any concessions and to experience art.
By Theo,

Richard Serra doet ons kunst 100% ervaren
Richard Serra doet geen enkele concessie
Dit is 100% kunst.
Een metalen schijf ligt in een grasveld, een metalen schijf ligt aan een bosrand.
Het is aan de toeschouwer om er iets mee te doen. Wat zou ik doen? Ik zou er een wandeling om heen maken. Tijdens de wandeling om de ene schuif op het grasveld en andere langs het bosrand zou ik diverse perspectieven zien. Het zou mij opvallen dat de schijf niet verandert, maar de omgeving wel.
Het is aan de toeschouwer om open staan voor ervaringenn. Wat zou ik voelen? Ik zou vrijheid ervaren doordat ik zelf positie kan kiezen. Ik zou lang of kort kunnen stilstaan bij een schijf en nadenken over de betekenis van een cirkel. Ik zou een variëteit aan kleuren zien van het gras en de bomen. Ik zou kunnen nadenken over de rol van kunst en van de natuur.
De toeschouwer moet er een betekenis aan toekennen. Welke betekenis zou ik eraan toekennen? Ik zou beseffen dat kunst een ervaring is. Kunst. En kunst in de omgeving.
Ik ben blij dat Richard Serra ons leert geen enkele concessie te doen en ons kunst laat ervaren.
Door Theo,
Elevational Circles 2 round steelplates, each 295 cm diameter, 7 cm thickness, installation in the park area of Haus Weitmar Bochum.
Richard Serra's work Elevation Circles takes advantage of the natural conditions in space, as two identical elements unfold an intersting contrast. One is set into and the other just lies on the ground.
On the one hand, Serra highlights the integration of objects into a given environment. On the other hand he alludes to the moment of differentiation and distraction, where something is disangled and put apart.
Thanks to the different positions in space, each of the identical plates gains its specific character. As a result, space-principles, integration and differentiation, get a clear visual illustration. In a metaphorical sense, this recalls the general process of an identity, which spreads out into numerous aspects.
Gleich nebenan bei der »Situation Kunst« gibt es ein Werk Serras, das die Raumerfahrung des Betrachters herausfordert, zu entdecken: Circuit (1972/89). Für diese Installation wurde eigens ein Gebäude als Ausstellungsraum errichtet.
Richard Serra, *1939 San Francisco, lebt und arbeitet ausserhalb New Yorks und in Nova Scotia / Kanada.
Elevational Circles: In and Out, 1972-1977.
Zwei kreisförmige Stahlbleche von je 295 cm Durchmesser, 7 cm stark, einmal auf dem Boden aufliegend, einmal in den Boden eingelassen. Dadurch wird das eine bloss als Position, als Ortmarke, wahrgenommen, das andere hingegen mit all seiner Masse und Schwere. Standort: Schlosspark Haus Weitmar.

Kitija Vasiljeva, Tilburg University:
Serra is known for his large scale steel sculptures that are created for variety of environments – museum/gallery spaces, rural landscapes and urban public spaces.
Serra (1994, p. 202-203): “Site-specific works deal with the environmental components of a given places. The scale, size, and location of site-specific works are determined by the topography of the site, whether it be urban or landscape or architectural enclosure. The works become part of the site and restructure both conceptually and perceptually the organization of the site. ... The specificity of site-oriented works means that they are conceived for, dependent upon, and inseparable from their location. ... A new behavioural and perceptual orientation to a site demands a new critical adjustment to one’s experience of the place,”
Today is the occasion to bear in mind the American minimalist sculptor Richard Serra, (2/11/39- ), who is best known for his large-scale abstract steel sculptures, which emphasizes materiality and an engagement between the viewer, the site, and the work. His work has played a major role in advancing the tradition of modern abstract sculpture in the aftermath of Minimalism. Yet his sculptures still evoke a sense of the sublime through their sheer scale and materiality. This column is a tribute to artists, living or dead, who have left their mark in Contemporary Art. Through documents or interviews, starting with: moments and memories, we reveal out from the past-unknown sides of big personalities, who left their indelible traces in time and history.
Richard Serra (born November 2, 1938) is an American artist involved in the Process Art Movement. He lives and works in Tribeca, New York and on the North Fork, Long Island.
Around 1970, Serra shifted his activities outdoors, focusing on large-scale site-specific sculpture. Serra often constructs site-specific installations, frequently on a scale that dwarfs the observer. His site-specific works challenge viewers' perception of their bodies in relation to interior spaces and landscapes, and his work often encourages movement in and around his sculptures. Most famous is the "Torqued Ellipse" series, which began in 1996 as single elliptical forms inspired by the soaring space of the early 17th century Baroque church San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in Rome. Made of huge steel plates bent into circular sculptures with open tops, they rotate upward as they lean in or out.
Serra usually begins a sculpture by making a small maquette (or model) from flat plates at an inch-to-foot ratio: a 40-foot piece will start as a 40-inch model. He often makes these models in lead as it is "very malleable and easy to rework continuously." He then consults a structural engineer, who specifies how the piece should be made to retain its balance and stability. The steel pieces are fabricated in Wetzlar, Germany. The steel he uses takes about 8–10 years to develop its characteristic dark, even patina of rust. Once the surface is fully oxidized, the color will remain relatively stable over the piece's life.
Serra's first larger commissions were mostly realized outside the United States. Shift (1970–72) consists of six walls of concrete zigzag across a grassy hillside in King City, Ontario. Spin Out (1972–73), a trio of steel plates facing one another, is situated on the grounds of the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands (Schunnemunk Fork (1991), a work similar to that of his in the Netherlands can be found in Storm King Art Center in Upstate New York.) Part of a series works involving round steelplates, Elevation Circles: In and Out (1972–77) was installed at Schlosspark Haus Weitmar in Bochum, Germany.
For documenta VI (1977), Serra designed Terminal, four 41-foot-tall trapezoids that form a tower, situated in front of the main exhibition venue. After long negotiations, accompanied by violent protests, Terminal was purchased by the city of Bochum and finally installed at the city's train station in 1979. Carnegie (1984–85), a 39-foot-high vertical shaft outside the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, received high praise. Similar sculptures, like Fulcrum (1987), Axis (1989), and Torque (1992), were later installed in London's Broadgate, at Kunsthalle Bielefeld, and at Saarland University, respectively. Initially located in the French town of Puteaux,Slat (1985) consists of five steel plates - four trapezoidal and one rectangular - each one roughly 12 feet wide and 40 feet tall, that lean on one another to form a tall, angular tepee. Already in 1989 vandalism and graffiti prompted that town's mayor to remove it, and only in December 2008, after almost 20 years in storage, Slat was re-anchored in La Défense. Because of its weight, officials chose to ground it in a traffic island behind the Grande Arche.
In 1979, Wright's Triangle was installed on Western Washington University's campus, as an addition to the Western Washington University Public Sculpture Collection. The triangular shaped piece was installed at an intersection of three paths that run through the middle of the campus. Its placement and structure allows viewers to walk around and through the piece, hopefully presenting ideas of confrontation, separation, and union.
In 1981, Serra installed Tilted Arc, a 3.5 meter high arc of steel in the Federal Plaza in New York City. There was controversy over the installation from day one, largely from workers in the buildings surrounding the plaza who complained that the steel wall obstructed passage through the plaza. A public hearing in 1985 voted that the work should be moved, but Serra argued the sculpture was site specific and could not be placed anywhere else. Serra famously issued an often-quoted statement regarding the nature of site-specific art when he said, "To remove the work is to destroy it." Eventually on March 15, 1989, the sculpture was dismantled by federal workers and consigned to a New York warehouse. In 1999, they were moved to a storage space in Maryland. William Gaddis satirized these events in his 1994 novel A Frolic of His Own.
Serra continues to produce large-scale steel structures for sites throughout the world, and has become particularly renowned for his monumental arcs, spirals, and ellipses, which engage the viewer in an altered experience of space. In particular, he has explored the effects of torqued forms in a series of single and double-torqued ellipses. He was invited to create a number of artworks in France: Philibert et Marguerite in the cloister of the Musée de Brou at Bourg-en-Bresse (1985); Threats of Hell (1990) at the CAPC (Centre d'arts plastiques contemporains de Bordeaux) in Bordeaux; Octagon for Saint Eloi (1991) in the village of Chagny in Burgundy; and Elevations for L'Allée de la Mormaire in Grosrouvre (1993). Alongside those works, Serra designed a series of forged pieces including Two Forged Rounds for Buster Keaton (1991); Snake Eyes and Boxcars (1990-1993), six pairs of forged hyper-dense Cor-Ten steel blocks; Ali-Frazier (2001), two forged blocks of weatherproof steel; and Santa Fe Depot (2006).
In 2000, he installed Charlie Brown, a 60-foot-tall sculpture in atrium of the new Gap Inc. headquarters in San Francisco. Working with spheroid and toroid sections for the first time, Betwixt the Torus and the Sphere (2001) and Union of the Torus and the Sphere (2001) introduced entirely new shapes into Serra's sculptural vocabulary. Wake (2003) was installed at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, with its five pairs of forms measuring 14 feet high, 48 feet long and six feet wide apiece. Each of these five closed volumes is composed of two toruses, with the profile of a solid, vertically flattened S.
Named for the late Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. (1913-1993), the rolled-steel elliptical sculpture Joe (2000) is the first in Serra's series of "Torqued Spirals".It is, The 42.5-ton piece T.E.U.C.L.A., another part of the "Torqued Ellipse" series and Serra's first public sculpture in Southern California, was installed in 2006 in the plaza of UCLA's Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center. That same year, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa installed Serra's Connector, a 66-foot-tall towering sculpture on its plaza.
Another famous work of Serra's is the mammoth sculpture Snake, a trio of sinuous steel sheets creating a curving path, permanently located in the largest gallery of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. In 2005, the museum mounted an exhibition of more of Serra's work, incorporating Snake into a collection entitled The Matter of Time. The whole work consists of eight sculptures measuring between 12 and 14 feet in height and weighing from 44 to 276 tons. Already in 1982-84, he had installed the permanent work La palmera in the Plaça de la Palmera in Barcelona. He has not always fared so well in Spain, however; also in 2005, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid announced that the 38-tonne sculpture Equal-Parallel/Guernica-Bengasi (1986) had been "mislaid". In 2008, a duplicate copy was made by the artist and displayed in Madrid.
In spring 2005, Serra returned to San Francisco to install his first public work, Ballast (2004), in that city (previous negotiations for a commission fell through) – two 50-foot steel plates in the main open space of the new University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) campus.
In 2008, Serra showed his installation Promenade, a series of five colossal steel sheets placed at 100-foot intervals through in the Grand Palais as part of the Monumenta exhibition; each sheet weighed 75 tons and was 17 meters in height. Serra was the second artist, after Anselm Kiefer, to be invited to fill the 13,500 m² nave of the Grand Palais with works created specially for the event.
In December 2011, Serra unveiled his sculpture 7 in Doha, Qatar. The sculpture, located at the plaza in Doha harbour, is composed of seven steel sheets and is 80-foot high. The sculpture was commissioned by the Qatar Museums Authority. In March 2014, Serra's East-West/West-East, a site-specific sculpture located at a remote desert location stretching more than a half-mile through Qatar's Brouq nature reserve, was unveiled. In 2015, the sculptor's monumental work Equal, composed of eight blocks of steel and exhibited that year at David Zwirner in New York, was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art.
In the past Serra has dedicated work to Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Buster Keaton, the German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder and the art critic David Sylvester.