Jotting 4: Richard Serra’s ‘Equal’

1st April 2024

John Wyver writes: I am lucky enough to be in New York for a couple of nights (look out for a ‘Postcard’ from the city here soon) and I spent yesterday afternoon in the peerless permanent collections galleries of the Museum of Modern Art. In the Collections 1980s-Present rooms, there is a space, presumably with a reinforced floor, devoted to the late Richard Serra’s monumental Equal, 2015, which absolutely captivated me. With the work almost to myself, I took a lot of photographs.

This is MoMA’s wall label, which also now carries a discreet ‘In memoriam’, recognising the artist’s death just a fortnight back:

Equal consists of eight forged steel boxes stacked in pairs. Each box measures five by five and a half by six feet and weighs forty tons in a rectangular cube. To diferentiate one stack from another, Serra has rotated the position of the shorter and longer sides of the boxes. Despite the varying orientation of the individual components, each stack measures eleven feet tall. This simple construction—one block sitting atop another—yields a variety of experiences; the massive sculpture may overwhelm the viewer and, in this sublimity, invite contemplation.

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