Richard Serra, one of the country’s most important living artists, is highly regarded for his groundbreaking monumental sculpture and works on paper. Through his artwork, he addresses issues of weight, balance, and movement. Central to his work is the viewer’s physical experience and mental perception of these qualities. Etchings is a survey of recent prints which continues his examination of these central themes. Dramatic and minimal black forms dominate their compositions, and their surfaces are rich with texture. Serra works very closely with his printmaker to devise new techniques for creating dense texture on flat paper. Rubbings are taken from a stucco wall or an asphalt road paving, creating rough, raised surfaces which compel viewers to experience the prints in a physical, three-dimensional way. There is an immediacy and confrontational presence to these pieces that transcends their actual material properties as sheets of paper. Serra has reinvigorated the traditional etching medium by creating more expressive forms and textures.
Born in San Francisco, Richard Serra graduated in 1961 from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in English. He then studied art at Yale University until 1964, taking classes with Josef Albers and others. After receiving his M.F.A., Serra spent two years traveling in Europe before settling in 1966 in New York City, where he continues to live and work. The following year he began to show his work in museums and galleries in New York, and since then he has exhibited extensively throughout the world, including representation in dOCUMENTA (Kassel, Germany) four times, the Venice Biennale (Venice, Italy) twice, and the Whitney Museum of American Art's (New York, NY) Annual and Biennial exhibitions seven times. Retrospectives of Serra's work have been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Museum of Modern Art, New York twice. In 2011, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York mounted an extensive survey of Serra's drawings that travelled throughout the United States. He has also created numerous site-specific sculptures in public and private venues in both North America and Europe.