Richard Serra

Installation view 1977 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017. Photo: LWL / Rudolf Wakonigg

Installation view 1977 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017. Photo: LWL / Rudolf Wakonigg

Untitled

1977

Two-part sculpture in Corten steel

Overall dimensions: height: 300 cm; length: 13.40 cm; width: 208 cm

 

Location

Schlossplatz (until 2002 known as Hindenburgplatz)

Richard Serra

* 1939 in San Francisco, USA

lives and works in New York, USA, and Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

For his contribution to the project section of Skulptur Ausstellung in Münster 1977 the US American artist chose a site on the former Hindenburgplatz (now called Schlossplatz) next to the entrance to the pedestrian underpass, at that time still in use, and opposite the H1 lecture hall building of Münster University. Set diagonally to the road, he stood two identical bodies made of 6-cm thick Corten steel sheets parallel to each other, propping them up together in the shape of an H. With this steel plate arrangement constructed “in the manner of a house of cards Serra dissolved the ostensible contradiction between monumentality and mobility.”1

At first sight viewers experienced the sculpture as a seemingly two-dimensional object made up of surfaces and lines. But when one got closer and walked through it, the structure revealed its three-dimensionality. It was precisely this kind of perceptual process that interested Serra in this work. In a statement reproduced in the catalogue he wrote, “There are no established patterns or expectations of audience awareness. The observed fact and experience of the work is not the preconceived idea of its construction.”2

Indeed, in the course of the locally much criticised exhibition the work was gradually ‘re-purposed’ and covered with graffiti that designated one toilet for women and one for men.

Marijke Lukowicz

1 Bernhard Kerber, „Bemerkungen zu einigen Großprojekten der Ausstellung“, in: Klaus Bußmann and Kasper König (eds.), Skulptur Ausstellung in Münster 1977, exhib. cat. Westfalisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, 1977, 71–88, here 81.

2 Klaus Bußmann and Kasper König (eds.), Skulptur Ausstellung in Münster 1977, exhib. cat. Westfalisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, 1977, p. 294.

Location

  • Still existing
  • Removed

Other Participation

This artist also participated in: 1997 1987