I'm grace Adam, and this is my colleague Jojo white, and this week we're, going to be reviewing Richard Serra at gagosian gallery britannia street london. The exhibition runs until the fourth of March and consists of four sculptural pieces.
These pieces are made using car steel kind of industrial grade steel, and you can see I kind of rusty crust, the expression of their manufacture on the surface and skin, or these very large monumental sculptures and the first room exhibits.
A Peace Corps ramble comprising many slabs of steel or varying Heights and dimensions. Some are more horizontal, some more vertical and it plays with your eyeline doesn't it depending on your physical height and as you move through the space it's almost like a kind of a maze or an obstacle course yep.
It's 24 pieces of these blocks, slabs of steel and, as you say it's like a maze. It's like a kind of conundrum. You have to move around it and i find it actually quite claustrophobic. It was quite bizarre, some of the pieces you can see over and some obscure your views, so you have to kind of negotiate them, but there is something incredibly sort of ancient about them.
They're like standing stones, just the weight of the hugeness of them already tons of this of this court n steel, you're surrounded by and it's some it. I think it really taps into something quite ancient.
Actually, I really enjoy being in there. It was like a landmark in the landscape, a place of pilgrimage or of contemplation in that symbolic sense, but in another important respect is very much about your own body.
As I said, your dimensions, your proximity to the work, the way in which it makes you conscious of occupying a space and, at the same time, being blocked and obstructed as you move through the large gallery, I think they are.
I mean, as we said, there are four rooms for last pieces of work. I think 204 tons of steel, indigo, sea and gallery, and there's, no narrative. Obviously, each piece has a name, but it's very much down to your physical visceral, personal personal response, and I think one of the things that struck me about the work.
Of course, I expected them to be huge and monumental, but the colors, the colors, are absolutely amazing. They're, incredibly subtle from kind of rags love endures. Imagine sex that's. The real joy Sarah comes out of this minimalist tradition from the 1960s into the 1970s.
There is this sort of absence of anecdotal metaphor. They're, very immediate, very factual these pieces and in the last gallery, is a work called back door pipeline which has a kind of geological quality to it.
You enter it. It's, a large curving sculpture about 34 meters high. It curves so, as you enter it, this dark space, you can just see a chink of life that leads you around this kind of ellipse towards the end and, of course, there's, an immediate um anxiety, I suppose, about entering a dark space.
That's very kind of primal, but you find your way through led by the loans. At the end. I think it is, it is beautiful. You know it's. It's kind of slightly scary, like a fairground ride, but you know you want to go in and disappointing is kind of curved corridor or you can't, see either end and that's kind of nice and as You walk through it, the shapes change all the time.
So, of course, this is huge, static, monumental object, but it's constantly changing and when you come outside and you walk down the side of it. When I made my note some Satsuma it's, the word I wrote down it's like a huge Satsuma.
You can't. The ends disappear from a minute. Son is beautiful because you get lots of sculptures in one. It has that geometric, precise quality deliberative but at the same time there's, a hint of window, most as if it's very ancient, like a piece of rock, and you are encouraged to discover it.
You know with your senses and I think that's, a fundamental to Richard Sara's but sculptural practice, and then we move on to another room called where the work is London cross and it literally occupies the entire space.
So the dimensions of the sculpture express the height and width of the gallery. You have two pieces balancing one on top of the other and supported by the edge of the walls and it towers over you and there's.
This idea of gravity of weight mass, that's, quite oppressive. It's, quite intimidating yeah. I found this. You say i found that room the most oppressive um. I quite enjoy this. Actually you were both you.
It's like standing on a huge iron bridge in a dark corner, and it is just this massive cross. I think it mentions that 12 meters across and it is balanced and the walls of the gallery are built around the work and this work pushes out it's, very dogmatic.
It's quite frightening and actually, when you come out of the room and move toward sir the entrance to the gallery, if you look back through the doorway, all you can see is gray, which is quite what love it fills at the whole space.
Like planes hooray and sarah has been faulted for this rather kind of bombastic quality of his sculptures, notoriously imposing one in a plaza in New York. That was the subject of a bigger case, but i think the london cross really expresses his interest well.
Doesn't hurt both that had a fascination with materials and weight and size and scale, but at the same time, that oppressive quality or material itself and are it kind of humbles? You isn't it it's, diminishes us yeah in that space.
I think there's a nice twist to the way in which he kind of was sort of destroys or voids the gallery. White cube space for exhibit in our this thing is almost like kind of invading the the room itself and then we move to a final sculpture in the last room, which employs two slabs of steel, is called dead weight dead, didn't load.
Thank you and it does have an air of mortality. Yeah yeah it's almost quite an interesting one, because I think the others he respond to very quickly and they absolutely dominate the space they own. This space they're, bigger than the gallery of pushing the walls.
This one you walk in and, as you say, there are two slabs two blocks to most kind of coffins of Steel, one on top of the other. The top one is Sam, slightly bigger, and so this is sort of mismatch and the top one is also rougher.
It's been left out to age, so it & # 39. S, got these beautiful kind of fantastic colors kind of dripping down it, and it's very redolent of sarcophagi and it's. It's. An odd height it's just about eye level.
It's, the same height as the gallery windows, but you can walk all the way around it, so you be negotiating in two different ways to the other rooms. It's, much more sort of visual, but like the best sculpture it has that tactile invitation summons you.
It demands a kind of contact for a collector. I've, no contact numb. Nevertheless, you can still see how it & # 39. S made yeah materiality orbit is so central to its kind of significance, and I take on board the fact that um Sarah is criticized for being macho.
I suppose want of a better word, a kind of shorthand for these great big dogmatic dogs and pieces of sculpture. No narrative, no nuance, one could argue, but again I'm so struck by this attention attention to space to detail, and he says that his his primary material is space not steal.
Interestingly - and he gets you to spend a lot of time, looking and slows you down and it's - nice not to have a narrative sometime. It's, nice to react on a kind of very fundamental. They have a nasty r beauty, but there's, no subtlety.
As you're saying, and so this masculine certainty is confrontational, um, but at the same time there's, something very honest, yeah and open about them. And there's, a kind of freedom in our relationship to them, and so it's.
A really interesting show. Sarah also made a large series of works for the Guggenheim in Bilbao. If you ever visit Bilbao, that are even larger, more extraordinary, but I think for London for commercial space, it's, a really exciting exhibition, and it runs through till March, the fourth 2015, so we recommend it.
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