Painter Brian Dupont reviews two recent installations of the exhibition Richard Serra: Drawing, A Retrospective - at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and at The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas.
Dupont writes: "Serra's use of paintstick and insistence on drawing as black poses an interesting dichotomy with the metal plates of his sculpture... the surfaces [of his sculptures] are in fact incredibly painterly, with texture and color on a thin skin that is delightful in spite of what I am sure is Serra's desire to the contrary... The irony of the paintstick drawings is that the works with literal paint are less 'painterly' than those mad of lead and steel plates. He can investigate visual mass and density without the distraction of color that an elegant patina of rusted steel imparts... It is as if Serra is so intent on demanding that the viewer physically experience the work that he must degrade any mere representation to highlight just how poor a substitute it is... Even while making work that completely challenges every idea of what the medium is, he simultaneously engages with what the medium as a basic underpinning for his entire practice."