SIEGEN.- Richard Serra this name brings to mind steel sculptures of monumental and all-encompassing proportions. Together with other artists of his generation this internationally renowned artist revolutionized modern sculpture in the 1960s and since then has continued to amaze and delight art enthusiasts worldwide. Serra's achievements in sculpture are mirrored by his accomplishments in drawings and prints. Hence, the Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen will highlight close to 50 of his prints and drawings in an extraordinary exhibition through May 5, 2008.
In part, these all-encompassing works on paper and canvas are of colossal size and unfurl an overwhelming effect similar to that of the sculptures. They aren't, however, simple blueprint sketches or drafts of planned sculptures, but autonomous and independent works. At the same time they display striking references to the sculptures. But while the sculptures define architectural space, the circles, squares, and planes are firmly planted within the picture and seem to expand its limits. Serra also exclusively uses the color black to avoid any color associations.
By its nature, the print medium always provides for the possibility of reproduction. Nevertheless, this isnt Serras primary intention, since he is more interested in the technical requirements of lithography, wood printing, and etching. With these methods he experiments, and his prints on paper made especially for the artist have a powerful haptic quality. Together, the physical characters of the print color and hand-made paper become very apparent.
Richard Serra is connected to the Siegerländer region in a very special way. His enormous curved sculptures are produced at the Pickhan Firm in Siegen-Geisweid, a specialist in iron processing. To date, more than 50 works have been created in Siegen.
Initially, Serra had searched the globe for a firm capable of executing his complex designs, such as the piece Matter of Time for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which consists of several large-scale steel plates. A documentary film by Maria Anna Tappeiner shows the sculpture during production, its transportation on huge low-bed trailers, and its final installation in Balboa. Her film Seeing is Thinking fathoms Richard Serras intentions in extensive interviews.
On the occassion of the exhibition two excursions to the Pickhan Firm will provide insight into the production process of Serras sculptures. Furthermore, the Museum is offering a trip from June 6 June 8, 2008 to Paris and the Monumenta at which Richard Serra will be shown this year in the Grand Palais. The purpose of this new and spectacular exhibition series is to enable annually the encounter of an internationally renowned artist with the venue's impressive architecture. Richard Serra will be on display at the Grand Palais from May 7 to June 15, 2008.