Que Serra, Serra – New York City

– By Elizabeth Brockway –

A casual post-brunch stroll into West Chelsea’s Gagosian Gallery this fall has landed patrons perhaps not where they would expect to find themselves—inside a maze of steel. Richard Serra is famous for his enormous yet minimalist sculptures, and Gagosian is playing host to a new crop of them. This show, titled “Junction/Cycle”, features a labyrinth of two weatherproof steel sculptures (Junction, 2011, and Cycle, 2010), checking in at 13 and 14 feet high, and each more than 50 feet long.

Wandering through the installation, following the curves and undulations of the rust-colored forms, the texture of the material, the patterns of light cast from the windows and the shadows created by the curves of the metal all juxtapose gloriously, harmoniously. There is an overwhelming silent interaction between the two sculptures. To appreciate the scale and power of “Junction/Cycle”, wander through the installation alone, in and out through the unmapped paths, and wait for the emotional reaction the artist’s conception was created to evoke.

Though I knew I was in a gallery space in New York, the quiet and overwhelming nature of Serra’s sculptures made me feel like I was wondering through a modern and industrial version of crevices formed thousands of years ago in Navajo Sandstone in the American West.  Each viewer is sure to find their own blend of reverie, escapism, and inspiration in the shadows of these stilled beauties. So after your next brunch at Cookshop or Trestle on 10th, be sure to make your way to 24th Street for Serra’s truly breathtaking show. For more information, see Gagosian’s website, www.gagosian.com, or call 212.741.1111.

“Junction/Cycle” opened September 14 and is running through November 26 at the Gagosian Gallery (555 West 24th Street—Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 AM- 6:00 PM).

Richard Serra, born in 1938, is one of the most influential artists of the modern era.  A retrospective of his drawings is currently on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Richard Serra Drawings: A Retrospective).

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