So what do you make of these prints by New York sculptor Richard Serra? Start with the obvious: They’re big and uncomplex and heavy. Not intimate, these etchings. They exert a large presence, right? Let’s tease out that thought a little: What if I remind you that Serra is known for working with sheets of steel weighing tons? Yes, of course, you’d think—he’s trying to create drawings that have mass! Flat works that occupy space with the authority of sculpture! Look at the picture again; you can almost feel gravity clutching at the black ink, trying to pull down.
- Richard Serra Levels
- Through Sept. 8
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- MCQ Fine Art, 620 S. Seventh St. 366-9339.
Still: etchings with 3-D physicality. Doesn’t that sound like an, ah, academic conceit? Do you find that a wholly satisfying explanation for such blunt, brawny images? Go back to the steel. What sort of person uses unyielding metal as his main form of expression? I agree: Someone for whom exerting his willpower over tough materials is crucial to making art. That same human will, that sense of hard wrestling, is also etched into these pieces. Yeah? That’s what I would’ve said, too.