American, born 1939
Tracks 43, 2007
Paintstick on handmade paper
40 x 40 inches
In the 1960s Richard Serra pioneered a style of abstract art that employed unconventional, often industrial, materials to underscore the physicality of their art. Serra’s earliest sculptures were constructed largely from fiberglass and rubber and sometimes involved hurling splashes of molten lead against walls and floors of exhibition spaces.
Tracks 43 is an example of Serra’s ability to use media to accentuate the physicality of his art. Its thick, highly textured, seemingly molten surface was created using paintstick, which is made of oil paint but functions like a large crayon. Serra calls these works drawings, both for the process by which they are created and because they are devoid of color. He has expanded the definition of drawing through innovative techniques, unusual media, monumental scale, and carefully conceived relationships to surrounding spaces.