Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I will need walls

As one of his greatest works is in New Zealand, Richard Serra’s work always has special resonance when we come across it. And so at Basel, at the top of an escalator itself transformed by Daniel Buren (another global artist with strong New Zealand connections) with his trademark green stripes, we came across a suite of recent Richard Serra prints. And, what a surprise (sorry Francis), we both immediately read them as landscapes, thanks to McCahon. This effect is not something that probably affects anyone under the age of 30. This time though for us the switch to reading the works for what they probably were, walls of steel, was almost instantaneous. And, in there somewhere, is a good argument to get even more art from other cultures and other places into and onto our land. While McCahon’s revelation of our landscape in abstraction was important, there’s even more to it now with interventions like Serra’s meandering wall - a landscape with lots of lovers, Richard Serra included.