Artwork of the month November

Richard Serra, Duplicate (cut piece), 1970

Richard Serra

* 1939 in San Francisco

 Duplicate (cut piece), 1970

Rolled steel, 3 parts

30,5 x 60,5 x 300 cm

KML 06.44
Former collection Rolf Ricke in the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main

The American sculptor Richard Serra belongs to the generation of postminimal artists who did not treat the work of art as a vehicle for ideas but rather as an expression in and of itself. It is crucial to Serra's art that the material defines the form. In the mid-1960s – after having met Arte Povera artists while travelling through Italy – Serra experimented with industrial materials like lead and rubber, which he related to the rooms in which they were placed. Salient features of his work are an emphasis on the centre of gravity, the mutual balance among several objects and the dialogue of his sculptures with the spaces around them. Over the years, Serra's sculptures gradually moved out doors, consisting of weatherproof steel whose surfaces he deliberately subjected to oxidation. Beginning in the 1970s, he turned to the potential of the printed arts and also devoted himself to drawings, video and film.

Duplicate (Cut Piece) belongs to a series of pieces that require complex preliminary work. Serra has described his procedure by compiling a long list of transitive verbs such as tear, roll and cut. The title Duplicate (Cut Piece) reveals the two essential aspects of the work: something has been cut up and something has been duplicated. A thin slice was cut off a long steel beam that is square in section. The remaining beam was then cut lengthwise into two equal halves. The slice lies next to the two-part beam, generating an optical balance between two unequal components. The interacting physical properties of mass, weight and balance are not merely the subject matter of the sculpture; they are constituents of the artwork itself.

<b>Richard Serra, Duplicate (cut piece), 1970</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.