Craig F. Starr Gallery is pleased to present Richard Serra: Transparencies, 2012-13, an exhibition which brings together six drawings on mylar from Serra’s Transparencies series, which originally debuted in 2012 at Craig F. Starr Gallery. The following year, Serra continued the series with a suite of drawings made for and exhibited at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London.
At the time of the gallery’s original 2012 exhibition, Richard Serra: Recent Drawings, Serra had been working with a new technical process that involved applying black lithographic crayon to both sides of transparent Mylar plastic. Each finished drawing was made by sandwiching a single clean sheet of plastic between two others completely coated with black crayon. Serra then used a drawing tool to compress the center sheet between them. This process transferred the thick, oily marks to both sides of the center sheet, whose final composition remained unseen until Serra peeled off the outer layers. The finished works, which are thus “drawn” on both sides, exist in a middle zone between sculpture, drawing, painting, and even printmaking.
Serra’s Transparencies, like all of his work from his freestanding Cor-ten steel sculptures to etching, derive from years of his sensing and thinking through diverse media. These drawings result: they do not reflect. While his results incorporate chance elements, chance was never his guiding method. In the accompanying exhibition catalogue essay from 2012, art historian Richard Shiff writes, “Why should an artist draw—or, for that matter, think—if not to experiment and reach for discovery? Discovery occurs within areas of uncertainty, where a person is most alert, most alive. The effect of Richard Serra’s Transparencies, a series of drawings on plastic, is uncertainty, a challenge to the conventions that distinguish actual substance from the varieties of illusionistic space perceived in graphic images.”
This exhibition proposed will be an opportunity to see a selection of Serra’s Transparencies at the gallery the artist handpicked to debut the series in almost a decade ago.
This exhibition will be on view in Craig F. Starr Gallery’s first-floor gallery between May 4 and July 30, 2021, by appointment. For more information about Richard Serra or to schedule an appointment, please contact Emily Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org.