Richard Serra was born in 1938 in San Francisco, California. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Serra attended the MFA painting program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The artist arrived in New York City in 1966 and, two years later, began showing with Leo Castelli, participating in a 1968 group show at Castelli Warehouse, curated by artist Robert Morris. The following year, the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York was held at the Castelli Warehouse. His first solo museum exhibition opened at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1970.
Spanning sculpture, drawing, and film, the artist’s decades-long career has been celebrated worldwide, with several major retrospective exhibitions, including two at the Museum of Modern Art, New York: Richard Serra/Sculpture (1986) and Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years (2007), and a major traveling retrospective dedicated to the artist’s drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Menil Collection, Houston (2011–12). Other retrospective and solo exhibitions of the artist’s work have been held at: the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1977–78); Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany (1978); Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany (1978); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (1980, 2014, and 2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris (1983–84); Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany (1985); Louisiana Museum, Humlebæk, Denmark (1986); Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, Germany (1987); Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (1987); Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (1988); Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands (1990); Kunsthaus Zürich (1990); CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France (1990); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1992); Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany (1992); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1997); Centro de Arte Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro (1997–98); Trajan’s Market, Rome (1999–2000); Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis (2003); Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples, Italy (2004); Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (2005); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen, Germany (2008); Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris (2008); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2008); mpk-Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Germany (2011); Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri (2014); Qatar Museums (2014); Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro (2014); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2017); Museum Wiesbaden, Germany (2017); Kunstmuseum Basel (2017).
Serra has participated in numerous international exhibitions, such as Documenta in Kassel, Germany in 1972, 1977, 1982, and 1987; the Venice Biennales of 1980, 1984, 2001, and 2013; and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s annual and biennial exhibitions of 1968, 1970, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1995, and 2006. Permanent, public and private, installations of the artist’s work can be seen worldwide.
He is the recipient of many notable prizes and awards, including a Leone d’Oro for lifetime achievement, Venice Biennale, Italy (2001); Orden pour le Mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste, Federal Republic of Germany (2002); Orden de las Artes y las Letras de España, Spain (2008); Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur, Republic of France (2015); and, most recently, a J. Paul Getty Medal (2018) awarded in honor of extraordinary contributions to the practice, understanding, and support of the arts.
The artist’s first solo exhibition with Fergus McCaffrey, featuring a selection of recent drawings and accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, was held in 2020 at the gallery’s Tokyo location.
Photo: Anzai Shigeo © ANZAÏ; courtesy ZEIT-FOTO