Vertical and Horizontal Reversals Press Release
November 6—December 20, 2014
David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new drawings by Richard Serra at its 537 West 20th Street gallery.
Serra began creating drawings in 1971, and they continue to constitute an autonomous part of his practice. Often large in scale, the artist's drawings are typically made with a thick impasto of black paintstick (or, more recently, lithographic crayons melted and formed into a brick), which is applied to a surface in broad, dense passages. Serra's exclusive use of black in these abstract works absorbs and reduces light, conveying a sense of weight, gravity, and mass.
Begun in the summer of 2013, Serra's "Symmetry" and "Reversal" drawings employ two identical rectangular sheets of paper that are adjoined in a vertical or horizontal format. In the "Symmetry" drawings, the white and black areas mirror one another in two symmetrically juxtaposed sheets. In the related "Reversal" drawings, from which the works in this exhibition are drawn, the black and white areas reverse themselves proportionally top to bottom (or left to right). The area that is black on the top (or left) sheet is white on the bottom (or right) sheet, and the area that is white on the top (or left) sheet is black on the bottom (or right) sheet in a figure/ground reversal. With these works, Serra expands upon his longstanding interest in the physical versus the cognitive perception of form.
A group of fifteen Vertical Reversal drawings was first presented at the Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro from May-September 2014 (Richard Serra: desenhos na casa da Gávea); the exhibition at David Zwirner will additionally include new Horizontal Reversals that have not previously been shown.
On the occasion of the exhibition, David Zwirner Books is publishing a catalogue that will include new scholarship by art historian Gordon Hughes.