Brancusi-Serra

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Richard Serra. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1987.

Richard Serra. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1987. Hot-rolled steel, eight plates, 184.8 x 400 x 5.1 cm each. Collection of the artist © 2011 Richard Serra. Photo © 2011 FMGBGuggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Brancusi-Serra

October 8, 2011–April 15, 2012

Brancusi-Serra, organized by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in cooperation with the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland, features approximately thirty works by Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi, as well as nine sculptures and numerous drawings by American artist Richard Serra. Viewed together, their work illustrates the development of 20th-century sculpture in a dynamic presentation that interacts with the irregular volumes and singular gallery spaces of the Frank Gehry–designed building. Organized thematically, the exhibition presents an open dialogue about artistic and sculptural possibilities, displayed through the juxtapositions of each artist’s work and in sequences of galleries devoted solely to Brancusi or Serra.

In 1964 and 1965, Serra had a revelation when he visited the reconstruction of Brancusi’s workshop in Paris, which had just opened to the public. The young artist visited the reconstructed studio daily, making numerous drawings in an effort to capture the atmosphere and essence underlying Brancusi’s works, which played a fundamental role in his development as an artist. Today, Serra is still fascinated by the way Brancusi “drew his volumes”: “I think the implications and strength of Brancusi and his work has been deemphasized by putting the entire focus on the stylized bronzes. This ignores how radical he really was in terms of casting and carving, and the fact that he was able to break away from the formalism of the pedestal.”

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