Richard Serra and thoughts on abstract drawing

Richard Serra and thoughts on abstract drawing

Richard Serra at the Gagosian

What interested me the most about Richard Serra’s exhibition was the texture of the surfaces, of the robust steel constructions. Through the cold industrial minimalism, I felt an object that was cared for, that was created by someone. Besides that, it was just extreme visually interesting, and could easily work as an abstract drawing (carving? Painting?) in itself. The sculptures were interactive and meditative in a way, the piece named “Backdoor Pipeline” invited the viewer inside of its cave like structure. The curved shape made the end of it invisible, and I felt almost surprised when I found myself returning to my own reality, when coming out on the other side, and i couldn’t help but thinking about wormholes and time warps in outer space. Serra has with this exhibition created links between the early industrialization to an almost sic-fi like reality. The whole experience manifests itself in a surreal relationship between past, present and future.

Mucus, tissue, fabric, thought, mass, eternity, substance, space

 

To me, the abstract drawing (and by drawing I mean any sort of pattern, line, mark making, that has no evident relation to something figurative) is highly existentially demanding of its viewer. When looking at figurative art one has to draw conclusions from our experience and our surrounding. We access the part of our mind containing learned behavior and ways of determination, and from that try and piece together what we are looking at. But when presented with something non-figurative, the viewer has to, to a much higher extend, look within herself. If you cannot compare what you are looking at with something known, you are forces to use a completely different spectrum of your ability to percept. You must, in a way, feel more, you must confront yourself. You are completely left on your own.