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Richard Serra

Currently not on display
Acquired in 1988
Inventory number 1787

The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 3400 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.

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The sculpture 'T-junction' by the American artist Richard Serra consists of a horizontal and a vertical cast iron bar. The horizontal bar rests on the vertical bar without any other connection. The vertical bar is in the middle underneath the horizontal bar, which fits exactly between two walls; only a few millimetres are left on either side. The bars are unpainted and in various places the iron is rusty.

Serra designs his abstract sculptures for a particular place or room and this working method is referred to as being site specific. 'T-junction' was specially designed for one of the galleries in the old building of the Van Abbemuseum. Serra built a model of the Van Abbemuseum in his studio in New York to experiment with its space and shape, and the dimensions of the gallery determined the size of each metal plate or bar and where it should be placed.

Volume, weight, mass and balance are essential concepts in the work of this artist, as are the qualities of the material with which he works. In addition, the creative process of his sculptures is very important for Serra. He sees his own work as research and therefore good work is the result of good research. These are the only criteria he uses for his artworks. Serra explained: “My work refers to sculpture, it is not functional and cannot be used.” For many American artists in the 1960s it was common to reduce sculpture to the most basic elements, without referring to any other reality other than the work itself. In this sense Serra’s work can be classified as Minimal Art.