090608: Monumenta – Grand Palais: Monumenta 2008. Richard Serra

Monumenta – Grand Palais: Monumenta 2008. Richard Serra Weighty emptiness Static steel artworks have tradition in Paris: the Eiffel Tower, large train stations, and the impressive world exhibition-pavilion Grand Palais at the Place de la Concorde. This year, American-born Richard Serra, has been invited to show his work at the ‘Monumenta’ in the Grand Palais. In 2007 Anselm Kiefer created the first installation in the ‘Monumenta’ series. Next to Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Eva Hesse, and Bruce Nauman, the 69-year old Serra is among the leading figures of Minimal art. The structure of the empty Grand Palais (which is much more familiar when it accommodates a multitude of exhibition stands) is a mixture of architecture, public space, and a landscape bathed in light. This makes it a remarkable and at the same time problematic venue: Serra positioned five rectangles vertically into a horizontal space. Each of these monumental plates weighs 75 tons, have a height of 17 meters and are only 4 meters wide - but the huge steel plates seem filigree, sway as if they were about to fall or withdraw themselves. They protrude out of the concrete floor like giants, but the 45 m high glass-iron construction of the Palais surpasses them by far. Clara-Clara – another one of Serra’s steel sculptures, purchased by the City of Paris in 1983, is currently exhibited at the entrance to the Tuileries. This early work - made of two arches, which are positioned between the Louvre-Pyramid and Napoleon’s Obelisk – easily asserts itself at this famous venue. Monumenta – Grand Palais 75008 Paris, Avenue Winston Churchill, until 15. 06. 2008 www.monumenta.com

Monumenta - Grand Palais
75008 Paris, Avenue Winston Churchill

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