Well the story unfolds a bit more in this evident age of Serra . . . because as it times-out, MOMA is just so happening to have a Serra retrospective up right now. The show is called “Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years” and as retrospectives seem to go . . . there was a lot of work that I had never seen. The stuff from the late 1960’s was made of vulcanized rubber, neon, lead and fiberglass – and I wasn’t a huge fan of it (especially this one piece – “Belts” from 1966-67 that had a series of rubber belts hung on a wall – with the last belt having a neon tube twisted in and around it. This one irked me as particularly annoying because – from my perspective – it was a simple one-shot idea that just didn’t dooooooo anything). It seemed like he really hit upon something when he started playing around with ginormous pieces of steel that threatened viewers with a kind of an object versus human conundrum – a battle that I am pretty sure the objects would have the upper hand if they chose to ever come to that point.
The strangest thing was that while I enjoyed the big pieces in the retrospective . . . they were much less effecting than when I saw them at the Dia. I’m not sure if I should blame this disparity on the different spaces – or possibly from the perpetual exhaustion that overtakes my brain any time that I have been in a museum for more than a couple of hours . . . but it was definitely different.
There is my Richard Serra experience in a nutshell. My review is that they are big and in their best instances – they muss with space and interacting with them makes me feel like an entirely tiny and squishable lump – which is – from where I sit – sometimes a good thing in this world.
To be reminded of how squishable you are – that is . . .