Published on the occasion of Richard Serra’s (born 1939) 2015 exhibition Equal at David Zwirner, New York, this catalogue is the first in-depth overview of the artist’s works in forged steel. While he had already become known for his works in vulcanized rubber, lead and steel, Serra first began using forged steel after encountering a large-scale forge at a steel mill in Germany in 1977. Unlike casting, wherein steel is heated until molten and poured into a mold, forging is the process of changing metal’s shape while in a solid state, through extreme heat and pressure. Serra’s first forged sculpture was "Berlin Block for Charlie Chaplin" (1977), installed outside of the Mies van der Rohe–designed Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Since then, he has continued to use this material in different configurations and formats to create works that use forged blocks, rounds or lintels. Designed by McCall Associates in close collaboration with the artist, Richard Serra: Forged Sculpture presents a survey of Serra’s forged sculpture since 1977, featuring new scholarship by art historian Richard Shiff and an essay by Serra, along with beautifully illustrated photographs of the forging process. Bringing together over 40 detailed plates of forged works, this unique book not only introduces readers to an important aspect of Serra’s work, but uses these works to return to the eternal questions of weight, balance and perception in his practice.
Richard Serra was born in San Francisco in 1938. His first solo exhibitions were held at the Galleria La Salita in Rome in 1966 and at the Leo Castelli Warehouse in New York in 1969. His first solo museum exhibition was held at the Pasadena Art Museum, California (1970); subsequent solo museum shows have been held at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1977); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1986); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1997); and The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis (2003); among other venues. In 2005, eight large-scale works by Serra were installed permanently at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and in 2007, The Museum of Modern Art, New York presented a retrospective of the artist’s work.
?Richard Shiff is the Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at The University of Texas at Austin, where he directs the Center for the Study of Modernism. His scholarly interests range broadly across the field of modern and contemporary art and theory, with publications that include Ce?zanne and the End of Impressionism (1984), Critical Terms for Art History (co-edited, 1996; second edition, 2003), Barnett Newman: A Catalogue Raisonne? (co-authored, 2004), Doubt (2008), Between Sense and de Kooning (2011), and Ellsworth Kelly: New York Drawings 1954–1962 (2014). Artists featured in Shiff’s recent essays have included Mark Bradford, Peter Doig, Marlene Dumas, Zeng Fanzhi, Ellen Gallagher, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Alex Katz, Per Kirkeby, Julie Mehretu, David Reed, Bridget Riley, Joel Shapiro, Keith Sonnier, Cy Twombly and Vincent van Gogh.