"There is no way to make a drawing – there is only drawing."
Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present Solids, a recent sequence of twenty-five drawings by Richard Serra. Solids was first shown in "Work comes out of work," Serra's comprehensive drawing exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz earlier this year.
As in his earlier series Line Drawings (2000-2002) and Tracks (2007-2008), the process that Serra uses to make Solids is one where the action of marking contrasts with somewhat blind accumulation. Melted paintstick is poured onto a hard surface on the floor or a table. Sometimes a sheet of window-screen is placed on top of the liquid paintstick. Then the paper is laid down, either on top of the screen or directly on top of the liquid paintstick. Pressure is exerted on the back of the paper with a hard marking tool and the front side of the paper picks up the mark. In this series no direct drawing is done on the front of the paper. Therefore it is not possible to see the drawing until the paper is pulled off the floor or the table and turned over or the screen is lifted. In the Solids series, as the layering of gesture increases, so does the accumulated mass and perceived weight. The effects of compression, torsion, the surface tension of the material and, finally, gravity, all work, as the paintstick coalesces to produce widely varying surface textures.
Serra makes drawings not as precursors to sculptural works, but as separate, immediate, and fundamental lines of investigation, translating intentions into marks. The drawings are explorations in their own right and they can be seen as both integral to the overall concerns of the sculptor's practice as well as unique intuitive explorations within their own set criteria.
Born in 1939, Richard Serra is one of the most significant artists of his generation. His groundbreaking sculpture explores the exchange between artwork, site, and viewer. He has produced large-scale, site-specific sculptures for architectural, urban, and landscape settings spanning the globe, from Iceland to New Zealand. Earlier this year, he conceived Promenade, a course of five steel sculptural elements towering seventeen meters, for MONUMENTA at the Grand Palais in Paris. In addition to the drawing retrospective "Work comes out of work" at the Kunsthaus Bregenz (2008), other recent projects include the eight-part permanent installation The Matter of Time at the Guggenheim Bilbao (2005) and "Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years" at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007).
For more information, please contact Melissa Passman at 212.741.1111 or [email protected].