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As the focal point of numerous high-profile exhibitions, the sculpture of Richard Serra (b. 1939) has drawn international acclaim. Yet even those who have marveled at Serra's intellectually rigorous and large works of sculpture may not be familiar with his equally intriguing drawings. This handsome book brings together for the first time Serra's drawn work, considering the artist's investigation of medium as an activity both independent from and linked to his pioneering sculptural practice.
First working in ink, charcoal, and lithographic crayon on paper, Serra originally used drawing as a means to explore form and perceptual relations between his sculpture and the viewer. Over time, his drawings underwent significant shifts in concept, materials, and scale and became fully realized and autonomous works of art. The grand, bold forms he created with black paintstick in his monumental Installation Drawings were designed to disrupt and complement existent spaces and eventually began to occupy entire rooms. In the late 1980s, Serra explored the tension of weight and gravity through layering, and his most recent work experiments with surface effects, using mesh screens as intermediaries between the gesture and the transfer of pigment to paper.
In a career spanning over six decades, the New York art dealer Pierre Matisse (1900-1989) contributed substantially to the advancement of modern art. At his eponymous gallery on East Fifty-seventh Street, he showed several now legendary artists for the first time outside Europe. The collection--paintings, sculpture, and drawings by Balthus, Bonnard, Chagall, Derain, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Magritte, Miro, and the dealer's own father, Henri Matisse, among others--was donated to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004 by the foundation established by his widow. These extraordinary artworks are presented with informative entries addressing the circumstances of each work's creation and the dealer's relationship to the artist. In the introduction, the story of Pierre Matisse's early struggles in New York is told for the first time and illustrated with previously unpublished archival photographs.
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