GEMINI G.E.L. at JONI MOISANT WEYL

Richard Serra: Bight & Ballast

Richard Serra: Bight & Ballast

Dienstag, 8. November 2011Donnerstag, 22. Dezember 2011


New York, NY USA

Opening reception November 8, 6 – 8pm

Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl is pleased to present Richard Serra: Bight & Ballast, an exhibition of the artist’s most recent series of small-scale etchings.

In November 2010, Richard Serra began his most recent collaboration with Gemini G.E.L. on two series of prints – Bight and Ballast. Work began first on the solid, weighted Ballast images, and from his New York studio, Serra provided specifications for the imagery. Several forms in different sizes and proportions were considered, and ultimately four were selected. One, later titled Riser, was set aside as a special edition to be offered by the Metropolitan Museum during the artist’s drawing retrospective in the spring of 2011. Once the scale and formal aspects of all four prints were resolved, the rough texture – created from a rubbing of the stucco wall outside the Gemini workshop – was etched into the copper plate, and the editioning was intended to begin in earnest.

Quickly, however, a large number of Mylars arrived at the workshop, loaded with sticky Paintstik drawings intended for the making of the Bight images. Comprised of direct gravures each measuring 27 x 22 inches, the Bight prints feature dynamic variations of helix-shaped lines which virtually spin out of control. Serra wanted the lines to be as deeply black as possible, yet he wished to preserve the light, lyrical nature of the surrounding areas in the imagery. Considerable experimentation and proofing was undertaken by Master Printer Xavier Fumat and his assistants in the workshop. Culling it down from over 25 images, ultimately nine were approved.

Bight and Ballast continue the artist's two-dimensional examination of mass and weight in a small scale, with highly textured and saturated surfaces that have come to define Richard Serra's print work. Serra has been making prints at Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles for almost forty years. Known for his monumental steel sculptures, Serra has increasingly worked in a larger scale as a printmaker, yet after completing some of his largest prints ever at Gemini (the 2008-2010 Weights and Levels), the artist chose to revisit printmaking on a relatively small-scale. Indeed, complimenting the exhibition of these two new series will be a selection from a prior series called Junction. These etchings, dating from 2010, each measure 16 x 18 inches and feature variations of deep and intimate "X" markings.

Richard Serra was born November 2, 1939, in San Francisco. In 2007, the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented a Serra career retrospective, which was the museum's largest-ever sculpture exhibition to date. In 2011, the Metropolitan Museum of Art mounted the first survey of Serra's drawings at an American museum, and an expanded version of that survey is currently on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, through January 16, 2012. Serra continues to produce large-scale sculptures for sites both in the United States and abroad. Two of his most recent large scale works, Junction and Cycle, are on view at the Gagosian Gallery on 555 West 24th Street from September 14 through November 26.