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Richard Serra, Rounds, 1999

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Richard Serra forcing ink through a mesh screen with his feet in the artist studio at Gemini, July–August 1998. Photography by Sidney B. Felsen

Richard Serra (American, born 1939) has said that individual works in a series can “become critical of each other” and that the success of one hinges on the development of the rest. The monumentality and power of the Rounds prints conjure up associations with black holes, solar eclipses, bomb blast craters, and even sonic booms. Their pitchy blackness and encrusted texture also convey a weight, density, and physicality that matches the artist’s muscular, full-body process. Serra has warned against assigning too much significance to his titles, but the names of the heavyweight jazz and blues musicians from which the Rounds prints take their titles seem appropriate. The works were created in tune with each other, a process akin to the improvised, call-and-response riffing of a jazz or blues ensemble.

 

In Action at Gemini: Making Rounds

Banner image: Richard Serra, Bo Diddley (detail), 1999, etching, Gift of Gemini G.E.L. and the Artist, 2015. © 2011 Richard Serra / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Gemini G.E.L. and the Artist