"Putting where it needs to be." – Richard Serra

Richard Serra has a vision – spoken with confidence. It’s about knowing what you want and how you want it – then attending to it – realizing it takes many to accomplish such a feat and that process can be informative.

I had a chance to see Richard Serra’s work at the Olympic Sculpture Park – in Seattle, Washington, impressive as expected, in size, scale and in sensuous shape. I thought the skin was particularly nice. The park-like siting of the work allows for an overview which helps the forms to be absorbed in the mind’s eye as objects – but barely holding their own against a looming corporate backdrop.


The real power seems to me to be in walking next to and around – where you become more acutely aware of scale, surface, and shape. It didn’t hurt either to be visiting on a warm sunny spring day. That’s where the phenomenon of experience comes into play – being able to be next to something – to touch it.

The shapes nicely echoed in the passing freight ships out in the bay. But the irony of the fact that the institute actually posted a sign “please do not touch the art” seemed profane in an already profane space – trying hard to not be so.

Why must we place such imaginary boundaries upon these things ?

The park design is very nicely done as well. – It creates a section of land that I can only imagine is / was under intense scrutiny to be “developed” as evidenced by the surrounding dense and unfortunate condo development – it was interesting to see the impending invasion and architecture, art, and landscape – respond –

(design statement here) assuming a bit of a visual shield to the visual cacophony –

It brings home to me a sense of pressure about how we choose to shape our environment or be shaped by our environment.


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