Richard Serra Drawing

A Retrospective

October 15, 2011 - January 16, 2012

Richard Serra's massive steel sculptures have made him one of the key figures in contemporary art, but his work also takes another striking form: drawing. This first-ever retrospective of Serra's drawings is a chance to see this major artist's work from an entirely new angle. The exhibition traces Serra's evolving ideas and methods since the 1970s, when he began making wall-size abstractions that radically altered the relationship between drawing and architectural space. Serra uses black paintstick to build stark, densely layered forms that manipulate the viewer's sense of mass and gravity, making for an experience that is as visceral as it is visual. The SFMOMA presentation also features a selection of the artist's earliest sculptures in lead, rubber, and fiberglass, demonstrating the vital connection between the processes of sculpting and drawing in Serra's art.

Evelyn D. Haas Exhibition Fund

Major support for the SFMOMA presentation of Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective is provided by the Evelyn D. Haas Exhibition Fund and Doris Fisher. Generous support is provided by Gay-Lynn and Robert Blanding, Nancy and Steven H. Oliver, and Thomas W. Weisel. The St. Regis San Francisco is the official hotel of Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective.

Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective is organized by the Menil Collection, Houston. The Menil Collection's organization of this exhibition was generously supported by Laura and John Arnold, National Endowment for the Arts, Eddie Allen and Chinhui Juhn, the Frances Dittmer Family Foundation, Paul and Janet Hobby, David and Anne Kirkland, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Clare Casademont and Michael Metz, Janie C. Lee and David B. Warren, Scott and Judy Nyquist, and Nina and Michael Zilkha.

St. Regis San Francisco
  • Richard Serra, Compressed Below, 2001; private collection; 2011 Richard Serra/Artists Right Society (ARS), New York
  • Richard Serra, Untitled, 1972-1973; paintstick on paper; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, purchase with funds from Susan Morse Hilles, 2011 Richard Serra / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Sheldan C. Collins
  • Richard Serra, Blank, 1978; paintstick on Belgian linen; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; 2011 Richard Serra / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Gianfranco Gorgoni
  • Richard Serra, Untitled, 1971; charcoal on paper; private collection; 2011 Richard Serra / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Savage