The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco is hosting a significant exhibition of the influential sculptor Richard Serra, making the city a perfect city break destination for culture vultures looking for a holiday in the next few months.
Serra’s huge steel sculptures have brought him widespread acclaim in the contemporary art world, but the San Francisco display explores a less well-known aspect of his work than his sculptures, displaying for the first time a retrospective of the artist’s drawings. The exhibition allows visitors to trace Serra’s ideas back through the 1970s in his drawn works, exploring the relationship between architectural space and drawn works.
Born in San Francisco in 1939, Serra also went on to study English Literature in the city, as well as at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While in Santa Barbara, Serra supported his studies by working in steel mills, the influence of which can clearly be seen in some of his later sculptures and works. His father worked in a shipyard, and Serra’s memory of these spaces was said to be at the heart of his vision as an artist.
Serra’s minimalist sculptural works can be seen at sites as varied as the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Toronto’s YYZ airport. Many of his early drawings use the medium of paintstick – a waxy grease crayon, which Serra used to create large-scale drawings on linen or canvas.
The San Francisco exhibition will feature some of the artist’s sculptures in various materials, such as rubber, lead and fibreglass, alongside the drawings, and will remain open until January 16, 2012, giving fans of his work plenty of time to book some flights to San Francisco.