Feminine He Ain’t


Mr. Serra always carries his sketchbook with him, in case he has a new idea for a sculpture. Credit George Etheredge for The New York Times.

This article describes Richard Serra as “the best-known living sculptor in America.” His medium is steel, in which he enshrines “abstract forms as maximalist feats of mass and scale.”

At the Museum of Modern Art… a room-sized assembly of eight, 40-ton forged-steel blocks that together weigh more than a Boeing 777, will occupy its own gallery….

Serra’s responses to the interviewer ring true of a spikey octogenarian who may not be in close touch with his female side!

Richard Serra… counts pounds. “This is my heaviest show ever,” he said with a hint of pride… Does he see his sculpture as distinctly masculine? “It’s not feminine,” he replies… Does he see any tenderness in his work? “I don’t think in those terms,” he replied. “It sounds like you are talking about steak…” I asked Mr. Serra if he ever has the urge to use a color besides black [in his drawings]. “A pink painting,” he replied with a straight face. “I am working on it. It is in my closet.” A five-beat pause. “Or green and purple. For a week, I considered chartreuse seriously.”


Mr. Serra’s “Verb List” is the closest he came to producing a manifesto and helped define what is known as Process art. Credit The Museum of Modern Art.

I gratefully let Mr. Serra have the last word. I couldn’t answer the question better than he.

How would he describe the sea? “It’s like the desert with water,” he says….

(Deborah Solomon, “Richard Serra Is Carrying the Weight of the World,” NYTimes, 8-28-19)

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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