Saturday, December 31, 2011

Richard Serra-Drawings, MOMA SF, 12/30/11

Disaster Amnesiac made it over to San Francisco MOMA to check out the exhibit of Richard Serra's drawings, along with Mrs. Amnesiac and our pal Cynthia.
Minimalism always brings out an interesting response from people. I heard one waggish teen put it bluntly: "this SUCKS". There were also plenty of bemused looks from various viewers.
That said, I loved the work. Serra's stark, paint stick-on linen works were very complex, despite their outward simplicity. The textures, pocks, lines, and drips that different light angles revealed within them were wondrous for this viewer.
Disaster Amnesiac was also reminded of Nordic Black Metal as I gazed up into these works that were tacked onto various gallery walls. Their immense blackness would surely go well with some Burzum or Darkthrone. I could definitely see Fenriz appreciating their stark black forms.
The linen works had the same mass of volume as Serra's metal sculptures in many aspects. The weight and feel are very similar, and the fact that this effect was achieved with cloth is amazing.
Serra's paint stick-on homemade paper were amazing as well. With their black forms on white space configurations, they had the feel of Zen drawings. Some had impasto inches thick. I marveled at the amount of drawings Serra must have done to get that effect. Striking.
Also on display were many notebooks with plans for his large scale sculptures. It was cool to see the early imaginings of these monumental works, especially those at Bilbao.
Disaster Amnesiac left the gallery thinking about Minimalism and its effect on the viewer. In my opinion, Minimalism offers a lot of freedom to one who is taking it in. The viewer's perceptions are free to go wherever they go, unencumbered by representation. It also offers the chance to be disciplined and attentive. When these aspects of the mind are employed, its vistas are endless. That sucking sound heard by the surly teen was the sound of his own ignorance. Given time, I hope that he will cultivate the willingness and discipline to gaze at the vastness that Serra's art can offer.

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