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Photo: Paul Macapia

Wake

2004

Richard Serra

American, born 1939

For Richard Serra, space is a substance as tangible as sculpture. He uses materials and scale to alter perception and to engage the body, encouraging consciousness of our relation to space. The towering, curved steel forms of Wake were achieved with computer imaging and machines that manufacture ship hulls, including a demilitarized machine that once made French nuclear submarines. It is composed of five identical modules, each with two S-shaped sections positioned in inverted relation to one another—gently curving serpentines of convex and concave parts that suggest tidal waves or profiles of battleships. The surface of acid-washed, weather-proof steel reinforces this industrial effect. Wake's powerful silhouette belies a complex configuration of parts: the whole cannot be known at once, only experienced with physical movement and progressively over time.


10 plates, 5 sets of locked toroid forms, weatherproof steel, each set, overall: 14 ft. 1 1/4 in. x 48 ft. 4 in. x 6 ft. 4 3/8 in.; overall installation: 14 ft. 1/4 in. H. x 125 ft. L x 46 ft. W. ; plate thickness 2"; weight: 30 tons (each plate), Purchased with funds from Jeffrey and Susan Brotman, Virginia and Bagley Wright, Ann Wyckoff and the Modern Art Acquisition Fund, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2004.94, © Richard Serra

Provenance: [Gagosian Gallery, New York]; purchased from gallery by Seattle Art Museum (funds from donors), 2004

location
Now on view at Olympic Sculpture Park
http://www1.seattleartmuseum.org/eMuseum/media/full/2004.94.jpg

Photo: Paul Macapia

Photo: Joshua M. White

Photo: Joshua M. White

Photo: Joshua M. White

http://www1.seattleartmuseum.org/eMuseum/media/full/2004.94_02cc.jpg

© Benjamin Benschneider
Photo: Benjamin Benschneider

Photo: Paul Macapia

What's important is you moving between them, through them, and around them as they undulate; it's your body moving in relation to their surface that moves.

Richard Serra

"Each module is identical and comprised of two S-sections, which are inverted in relationship to each other..."

"What's important is you moving between them, through them, and around them as they undulate; it's your body moving in relation to their surface that moves."

—Richard Serra

Artist

Richard Serra

American, born 1939

Born in San Francisco, Richard Serra studied at the University of California, Berkeley and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1961 with a BA in English literature. He supported himself by working in steel mills. In 1964 he graduated from Yale University with a BFA and MFA, traveling to Paris and then, on a Fulbright Fellowship, to Florence, Italy. He divides his time between New York and Nova Scotia.

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