Richard Serra in Conversation

Tuesday, 17 September 2013
18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

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Richard SerraRichard Serra, Courtauld Transparency #4, 2013 Litho crayon on Mylar, 76.2 x 61 cm © Richard SerraSpeaker(s): Richard Serra and Barnaby Wright (The Courtauld Gallery)
Ticket/entry details: £7 (£3 for Courtauld staff/students). TICKETS ARE NOW SOLD OUT. In case of query please contact
Organised by: Dr Barnaby Wright and Prof Caroline Arscott

This is a rare opportunity to hear Richard Serra speaking about his most recent work. The event is timed to coincide with the opening of a special display of Serra’s new drawings at The Courtauld Gallery and will be hosted by its curator, Barnaby Wright. Although Serra is best known for his monumental steel sculptures, drawing is a central and independent part of his practice. Richard Serra: Drawings for The Courtauld will unveil twelve of the artist’s new drawings created especially for installation at The Courtauld Gallery. They mark a new departure for the artist. Made using compressed black lithographic rubbing ink applied to both sides of a clear plastic sheet, these works, which he calls ‘Transparencies’, are extraordinary in that they challenge preconceptions of what constitutes a drawing. The conversation will explore Serra’s radical drawing practice in relation to these new works and in the context of his long and groundbreaking career as a sculptor.

Richard Serra is one of the preeminent artists of our time. Rising to prominence on the New York art scene in the 1960s, Serra set about redefining the boundaries of sculpture and reconsidering the precepts and practices of Minimalism. By the early 1970s Serra was pioneering the large-scale and site-specific steel sculptures for which he is today celebrated internationally. His sculpture can be seen at sites across the world, including in London at Liverpool Street Station where his 1987 piece, Fulcrum, is situated by the Broadgate Street exit. A retrospective of his sculpture was held at MoMA, New York, in 2007 and in 2008 he unveiled a major installation at the Grand Palais in Paris. Throughout his career Serra has created drawings as a way of exploring new ideas and testing the conventions of the medium, often developing novel techniques and procedures. The importance of his drawing practice was demonstrated recently by his landmark drawings retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (and tour) 2011.

Barnaby Wright is the Daniel Katz Curator of 20th Century Art at The Courtauld Gallery. A graduate of The Courtauld Institute of Art, he has curated a number of recent exhibitions at the Gallery, including Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 (2013). He has worked closely with Richard Serra on the forthcoming special display Richard Serra: Drawings for The Courtauld (September 2013 – January 2014)

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