I consider space to be a material. The articulation of space has come to take precedence over other concerns. I attempt to use sculptural form to make space distinct.

— Richard Serra

The most off-limits Richard Serra quotes to get the best of your day

On the other hand, if there's an underlying core of poetry that I go to, I go to the sea. I've lived on the sea all my life. I live on the sea in Cape Breton.


Everything we choose in life for its lightness soon reveals its unbearable weight.


The thing about coming back to the Bay Area, it's like coming home for me.


Time and movement became really crucial to how I deal with what I deal with - not only sight and boundary, but how one walks through a piece, and what one feels and registers in terms of one's own body in relation to another body.


If you reduce sculpture to the flat plane of the photograph, you're passing on only a residue of your concerns... You're not only reducing the sculpture to a different scale for the purposes of consumption, but you're denying the real content of the work.


Basically, what you really want to do is try to engage the viewer's body relation to his thinking and walking and looking, without being overly heavy-handed about it.


I think you always have to find where the boundary is in relation to the context in order to be able to kind of articulate how you want the space to interact with the viewer.


I was in analysis and I told my analyst I wanted to be the best sculptor in the world and he said, 'Richard, calm down.'


But what does interest me is the notion that if you do a lot of work it means there's a potential for other people to understand that a lot of things are possible with a sustained effort and that the broadening of experiences is possible and I think that's all art can be.


But I'll try to immerse myself in as many of the formal characteristics of site as possible in the landscape.


When I moved into making sculpture, I could handle steel the way it had been handled in the technological revolution. I could use it the way bridge builders used it; I could use it the way they used it in industry and building and not the way it had been used in art.


I started working for Bethlehem Steel when I was about 16 during the summers.


About Richard Serra

Quotes 36 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Sculptor
Birthday October 16

I used to eat lunch with Billy Wilder when I first came out here.


And certainly the history of public sculpture has been disastrous but that doesn't mean it ought not to continue and the only way it even has a chance to continue is if the work gets out into the public.


I think different people have different problems and different relations to the exhibition of their work.


Most photographs take their cues from advertising, where the priority is high image content for an easy Gestalt reading.


But you have to take all of those things, you have to take into consideration the paths, the roadways, how much cloud cover there is, how much foliage cover there is, whether there are streams, all of that comes into play.


If you get it out into the urban field it's going to be used or misused but it'll also probably provide a way of people acknowledging what the aesthetic is about because people have to confront it every day.


The viewer becomes aware of himself and of his movement through the plaza.

As he moves, the sculpture changes. Contraction and expansion of the sculpture result from the viewer's movement. Step by step the perception not only of the sculpture but of the entire environment changes.


I think this, I think basically I'm not interested in people following my work or making work like my work.


But I don't think of any particular viewer in mind other than myself.


Your eye is a muscle, you have to keep it in shape and the more you draw, the more you see.


Work out of your work. Don't work out of anybody else's work.


What interests me is the opportunity for all of us to become something different from what we are, by constructing spaces that contribute something to the experience of who we are.


If your educe sculpture to the flat plane of the temporal experience of the work. (...) the experience of the work is inseparable from the place in which the work resides. Apart from that condition, any experience of the work is a deception.


They've also, the government's decided now, what sexual content is.


Most of what you see in architecture are watered-down ideas of sculptors who have come before.


Art for the most part, is about concentration, solitude and determination.

It's really not about other people's needs and assumptions. I'm not interested in the notion that art serves something. Art is useless, not useful.


It could be that people want to consume sculpture the way they consume paintings - through photographs... I'm interested in the experience of sculpture in the place where it resides.


I thought Out of Action was better as a catalogue than the honeycomb because the honeycomb was like walking into one compartment and then another compartment.


Play is a necessary ingredient in art because there is a kind of wonder that goes on when you play. You're directing your activity toward a conclusion that isn't prescribed by a particular method.


Art is not democratic. It is not for the people.


Now when you have administrators deciding what sexuality is, and what's a taboo and what's not in terms of content, you got guys, like, Trent Lott who equates homosexuality with a disease.


To see is to think, and to think is to see.


The thing about rigging is, you can learn it if you become a master rigger but there's no book on rigging.