Richard Serra is an American artist recognised for his minimalist large scale sculpture. He studied art at Yale University, working with large-scale collections of sheet metal. His attraction to this medium may have been shaped by his time spent working in the steel mills where he worked as an undergraduate while at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara. Serra also regards that his father’s work in the shipyards influenced his work. Serra is a pre-eminent artist in the Process Art movement, which held that the nature of the art work is found in the process of creation, rather than the completed piece.
Richard Serra experimented with hurling and rolling molten lead to create multiple effects and developed his signature staggeringly large sheet metal sculptures. In 1971, a worker tragically died, when a steel plate fell on him during his installation of Serra’s No.3 piece in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work is highly perceptive, the bold, symbolic minimalist shapes leaving room for the viewers’ personal interpretation. The large-scale sculptures have a sense of timelessness and tend to be specific to the site. The viewer is invited to walk around and through the piece to gain a unique perspective in contemplating their immensity. Serra has earnt many awards, including France’s prestigious Legion d’honneur in 2015. His work can be found in the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).