Saturday, May 26, 2007
Outdoor Sculpture: Richard Serra's "Twain"
Richard Serra's massive sculpture Twain occupies a full block of lawn on the east side of the Civil Courts Building (see May 16 post). It consists of eight oxidizing steel plates, about 3 m tall, arranged roughly in a triangle. The work is not so much about these metal slabs as the city you see through and over the gaps, how it feels in the strange space inside. I think it's fascinating.
Lots of people thought much the opposite when it was installed 25 years ago (although it is simply accepted now). It was called an ugly pile of rust. A bill was introduced in the Board of Aldermen to remove it. It failed, unlike the effort to destroy Serra's Tilted Arc in lower Manhattan.
Twain is difficult to photograph. You can view only incomplete segments from ground level (and perhaps that was part of Serra's plan). The only way to view the whole thing is from above, up in an office building. Photos of some other views can be seen in the first link above.
TOMORROW: Black and White Week Continues - Bear Market