Research Observations: Richard Serra

Serra_VerbList_Composite1

notes from Richard Serra: discussing process, material and strategy.

Tools and strategies

Process:
Compose a verb list: to roll, to fold, to cut, to bend, to rip, to spread etc

Work pieces out in response to, and in relation to the verb list physically in space. This way one doesn’t become involved in the psychology of what you’re doing. Don’t over-intellectualise the process, not involved in the ‘after-image’ of what the piece will look like.
Serra_VerbList_Composite
This approach results in a way of proceeding, physically, materially in space, without a notion of metaphor or ‘easy-imagery’.

Strategies:
Artists invent strategies that enables them to see in a way that they haven’t seen before to extend their vision.

Artists do it their own way;
Cezanne – birth of modernism. Re-placing the emphasis from subject to material – material and its handling becomes subject.

Pollock – Dripping / pouring downwards in a horizontal plane.


Artists constantly informing themselves by inventing tools or techniques or processes that allow them to see into a material manifestation in the way you wouldn’t if you dealt with standardised materials or academic ways of thinking.

One constantly tries to invent ways of seeing into what one is doing to avoid getting into a one step notion of how you do what you do.

Inventing new strategies to avoid going back to something that is just a reflex action.

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