One of the most prominent artists of our time is in our museum: the American artist Richard Serra (San Francisco, 1938). No fewer than eighty of his recent drawings were on show from 24 June to 24 September 2017. Uniquely, Serra has made the series Rotterdam Horizontals and Rotterdam Verticals especially for Boijmans and they could be seen exclusively in the museum.
The drawings, along with sketchbooks never exhibited before, are an ideal way to explore the artist’s methods and motives. The works reflect physical exertion and strength, dynamism and spontaneity, and they will not leave visitors unmoved. As he does in his sculptures, Serra exploits notions of time, working process and material in his drawings. Strikingly, the drawings are more intimate, more direct and more restrained than his previous work.
Serra is famed for his literally colossal works. When he was creating his sculptures he chose to make them from rubber and steel. In the nineteen-seventies he began working with the large steel plates that became his trademark. He used industrial processes and then placed the plates in a space in such a way that visitors experienced them differently.
Serra’s gigantic sculptures, which he often made for a specific architectural, urban or rural environment, can be found everywhere, from Iceland to New Zealand.
'Richard Serra - Drawings 2015-2017' is a logical consequence of the special link that the museum and curator Francesco Stocchi have with the artist. Boijmans has been staging exhibitions of Serra’s work for forty years. His 1980 sculpture Waxing Arcs has a permanent place in the museum.