Photos: Remembering Richard Serra, a world-renowned ‘poet’ of metals

By Chloe Veltman
Visitors look at the artwork "The Matter of Time" by US artist Richard Serra during the presentation of the "25 Years of the Museum Collection" exhibition on the 25th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in the Spanish Basque city of Bilbao on Oct. 18, 2022.
Visitors look at the artwork “The Matter of Time” by US artist Richard Serra during the presentation of the “25 Years of the Museum Collection” exhibition on the 25th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in the Spanish Basque city of Bilbao on Oct. 18, 2022.

Artist Richard Serra, who died Tuesday at 85 at his home on Long Island, was known for his monumental metal sculptures.

“I don’t think there are any other artists who worked with the level of ambition, exactness and vision to create something on such a magnificent scale that changes human experience,” said Sarah Roberts, head of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Serra was born in 1938 in San Francisco. The son of a shipyard pipe-fitter, he grew up watching vast steel tankers come and go. As a young man he worked in local steel mills to pay for college in California, and went on to study fine art at Yale. He moved to New York in the mid-1960s, where he began making art from industrial materials, especially metal. “I started as a kid in the steel mills,” the artist told NPR in 1986. “And in some sense I’ve never left.”

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