Works in this exhibition
Finally Finished II
Finally Finished III
Finally Finished IV
Double Rift V
Finally Finished II
Finally Finished III
Finally Finished IV
Double Rift V
on view from September 22 through November 3, 2018, Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl is pleased to introduce two new bodies of editioned works by Richard Serra, Equals and Finally Finished.
Equals is a series of eight “wall-hangings” comprised of two sheets of handmade paper covered edge-to-edge with multiple layers of Paintstik and mounted directly to the wall with an invisible cleat system. Serra’s prints have always had a vital, integral relationship to his 3-dimensional work, as he will typically spend many hours sketching in the presence of his installed sculptures, and his close observations of them inform his larger-scale works on paper. Indeed, the Gemini project has a direct correlation to Equal, a sculpture comprised of eight forged steel blocks presented at the David Zwirner Gallery in the spring of 2015. Like the eight steel components, each of the Gemini Equals have identical area dimensions, and yet they seem unequal; overall, they are the same height, but the panels have different individual heights and widths, and we are compelled to consider the “weight” of each work. The Paintstik material that Serra and the Gemini G.E.L. workshop uses is so dark and textural that it absorbs the light around it, and the forms conjure the massive weight of the forged steel blocks; these may be works on paper weighing a few pounds each, but their density evokes what the artist calls “the psychological effects of weight.”
“Black is a property, not a quality. In terms of weight, black is heavier, creates a larger volume, holds itself in a more compressed field. […] Since black is the densest color material, it absorbs and dissipates light to a maximum and thereby changes the artificial as well as the natural light in a given room. A black shape can hold its space and place in relation to a larger volume and alter the mass of that volume readily.”
The application of Paintstik, mixed with silica and rolled out on sheets of custom Hiromi Igarashi paper, provokes a feeling similar to being in the proximity of the rough forged steel. And the gap between the stacked blocks of steel that were critical to the experience of the sculptural installation have been brought into the concept and creation of the Gemini Equals; the two panels do not overlap but instead just barely abut, allowing them to touch and separate with the undulation of the Paintstik-covered handmade paper. This tension between the medium and the formal arrangement of each work is what harks the viewer back to the gravitational sensation of being near his sculpture.
Initially, the four Finally Finished etchings feel like the exact opposite of Equals. Energetic ellipses intertwine and undulate across the paper in a way that could suggest weightlessness, but, here again, their dense blackness – in this instance created with etching ink – anchors them back down on earth. The deeply etched copper plates used in their printing create a highly textured surface, and the tremendous scale of these prints (each is 75 x 60 inches) certainly reminds one of Serra’s massive torqued ellipse sculptures which are most often installed in site-specific public settings. The series title is a sly nod to the fact that the origins of at least one of these images dates back several years, and it is a testament to the long, close relationship between Serra and Gemini Master Printer Xavier Fumat that this series came to fruition.
Richard Serra was born in 1938 in San Francisco and lives and works in New York and the North Fork of Long Island. Since the early 1970s, Serra has had countless solo exhibitions in galleries and major museums in the United States and abroad, including two retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1986 and 2007), and a traveling retrospective dedicated to the artist’s drawings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and The Menil Collection, Houston (which was the organizing venue) (2011-2012). Serra’s work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions, including documenta (1972, 1977, 1982, and 1987), in Kassel, Germany; the Venice Biennales of 1980, 1984, 2001, and 2013; and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s annual and biennial exhibitions of 1968, 1970, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1995, and 2006. Serra has created major site-specific sculptures for public and private venues worldwide; the most notable public installations include The Matter of Time (2005), a series of eight large-scale works by dating from 1994 to 2005, installed permanently at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; Promenade, shown at the Grand Palais, Paris, for MONUMENTA 2008; the 2011 site-specific sculpture 7, permanently installed opposite the Museum of Islamic Art, in Doha, Qatar; and East-West/West-East, 2014, installed in the Brouq Nature Reserve in the Zekreet desert, Qatar. Serra has been the recipient of many notable prizes and awards, including a Leone d’Oro for lifetime achievement, Venice Biennale, Italy (2001); Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur, Republic of France (2015); and, most recently, a J. Paul Getty Medal (2018) awarded in honor of extraordinary contributions to the practice, understanding, and support of the arts.
For additional information, please contact: Chris Santa Maria email@example.com 212-249-3324
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