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Richard Serra Unveils Major Desert Sculpture In Western Qatar - ArtLyst Article image

Richard Serra Unveils Major Desert Sculpture In Western Qatar

09-04-2014
 
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The Qatar Museums Authority is has announced the unveiling of a major landscape commission, East-West/West-East, by American artist Richard Serra for the Brouq Nature Reserve, near Zekreet in western Qatar, approximately 60 kilometres from the capital Doha, GPS: N25o 31.019’E050o51.948’ This goes hand and hand with a huge survey of his work running from tomorrow until 6 July in Doha.
 
Set in a natural corridor formed by gypsum plateaus, East-West/West-East spans over a kilometre in length, and crosses the peninsula of the Brouq Nature Reserve connecting the waters of the Gulf. East-West/West-East consists of four steel plates measured by their relation to the topography. The plates, which rise to 14.7 meters and 16.7 meters above the ground, are level to each other; they are also level to the gypsum plateaus on either side. Despite the great distance that the plates span, all four can be seen and explored from either end of the sculpture.

The unveiling coincides with the artist’s first solo show in the Middle East at Al RIWAQ DOHA Exhibition Space and QMA Gallery at Katara where visitors can see an ambitious new large-scale work, Passage of Time, which is made up of two 66.5m long and 4.1m tall steel curves that snake diagonally through the exhibition space, and works from different periods of Serra’s fifty year career of sculptures and drawings. The exhibitions, both entitled Richard Serra, are curated by Alfred Pacquement, curator and former Director of the National Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, Paris, and run from 10th April to 6th July 2014.  The commission and exhibitions follow the 2011 installation of the artist’s first public artwork in the Middle East, 7, a vertical steel sculpture in the MIA (Museum of Islamic Art) Park.
 
East-West/West-East is the latest addition to Qatar’s growing public art landscape. It follows the 2013 unveiling of Damien Hirst’s The Miraculous Journey and joins a collection of other important artworks installed throughout the country including Maman by Louise Bourgeois and Calligraffiti project by eL Seed. These public art works take Qatar’s museums beyond the four walls into the world at large so that more people can experience art and creativity in daily life.

Richard Serra, the most comprehensive showcase of the artist’s work in the Middle East, opens today in multiple venues in Doha, Qatar.

The solo show at QMA Gallery coincides with the exhibition of Passage of Time, a striking curved sculpture specially conceived for Al Riwaq exhibition space, and the unveiling of Serra's second public commission in Qatar, East-West/West-East, an extraordinary standing-plate work, located in the heart of the Qatar desert.
 
The exhibition inaugurated today at QMA Gallery at Katara brings together a fascinating selection of sculptures and drawings from different periods of Serra’s fifty-year career, including works from the seminal One Ton Prop (House of Cards) of 1969, on rare loan from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, alongside his more recent work (Double Torqued Ellipse III, 1999), to present the main stages in the development of his work.
 
Meanwhile Al Riwaq, a temporary exhibition space in the centre of Doha houses Serra’s new work, hosts Passage of Time, which has been made specially for the space that spans a total area of 5000 m2. The sculpture is made up of two 66.5m long and 4.1m tall weatherproof steel curves that snake diagonally through the site, and was fabricated in Germany at one of the very few steel mills that can take on such monumental steel works. Both spaces have been curated by Alfred Pacquement, curator and former Director of the National Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, Paris.
 
On the occasion of his first solo exhibition in the Middle East, Richard Serra has also been commissioned to produce an exceptional standing-plate work specially conceived for the dramatic desert landscape of the Brouq Nature Reserve, near Zekreet in western Qatar. Set in a natural corridor formed by gypsum plateaus, East-West/West-East spans over a kilometre in length, and crosses the peninsula of the Brouq Nature Reserve connecting the waters of the Gulf. East-West/West-East consists of four steel plates measured by their relation to the topography. Despite the great distance that the plates span, all four can be seen and explored from either end of the sculpture.
 
This is Serra’s second public commission in Qatar following the 2011 installation of 7, a vertical steel sculpture in the Museum of Islamic Art Park. Composed of seven steel plates that are 80 feet (24 meters) high, 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide and 4 inches (10 cm) thick, 7 is Serra’s tallest vertical sculpture to date. The sculpture is 10 feet (3 meters) wide at the bottom and nine feet (2.7 meters) wide at the top.
 
Richard Serra at QMA Gallery at Katara and Richard Serra at Al Riwaq Doha exhibition space both run from 10th April to 6th July 2014.
 
 
Richard Serra at QMA Gallery at Katara and Richard Serra at Al Riwaq Doha exhibition space both run from 10th April to 6th July 2014


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