The Work of Robert Longo & Richard Serra at VFA

My work is conceptually based; regardless of the medium, it is motivated primarily by a moral imperative—to report on what it means to be alive right now. - Robert Longo

Works by Robert Longo and Richard Serra led sales at Frieze Los Angeles last month. At the opening of Frieze, two drawings by Robert Longo sold for $1.6 and $1.4 million and an oilstick drawing by Richard Serra sold for $2 million.

 

Last year, Robert Longo’s drawings were exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. The exhibit, Robert Longo Drawings: Engines of State consisted of large, multi-paneled drawings of government buildings. Much of Longo’s work reflects his social and political views, although, at times, his intent is subtle, at other times, not-so-subtle. “A lot of my work is based in frustration and an appeal to the viewer to take a position.” he said, in an interview in Cultured. “I am grateful every day that I have this opportunity and privilege to be an artist, and with that privilege, I feel a responsibility.”

 

Works from Longo’s Men in the Cities series are available at VFA.

 


 

Richard Serra died on March 26, just a few weeks after LA Frieze, at age 85, at his home in Orient, New York. His massive sculptures, in public spaces around the world, remain a tribute to his vision as an artist. Serra always carried a sketchbook with him and was continually drawing ideas on the pages. 

 

The Guggenheim posted a tribute to Serra online, saying that Serra’s work “reshaped our perceptions of space and form and redefined the connection between viewer and artwork. Beyond the sheer scale and grandeur of his creations, Serra’s artistic vision was rooted in a deep understanding of the relationship between art, architecture, and the environment.”

 

Oteiza, an etching by Richard Serra is available at VFA. The work is a tribute to the Basque sculptor, Jorge Oteiza (1908-2003), whom Serra greatly admired. Like Serra, Oteiza was interested in the spatial qualities of sculpture. He was a talented and greatly admired artist, but had a knack for feuding with friends and colleagues. Serra had arranged for the Guggenheim Bilboa to acquire several of Oteiza’s sculptures, but the deal fell through when Oteiza had a feud with members of the museum. Oteiza is Serra’s homage to the sculptor, who died in 2003, at age 94.

 


 

References:

Karen K. Ho. $2 M. Work By Richard Serra Leads Sales at Frieze Los Angeles 2024. Artnews. March 1, 2024.

Margaret Carrigan. Robert Longo on the Responsibility That Comes With Being an Artist. Cultured Newsletter. June 16, 2023.

Kriston Capps. The Lost Richard Serra Sculpture That Changed Public Art. Bloomberg News. March 31, 2024.

Oscar Holland. Richard Serra, master of large-scale sculpture, dies aged 85. CNN. March 27, 2024.

Michael McNay. Jorge Oteiza/Obituary. Spanish sculptor whose work defined and animated space. The Guardian. April 14, 2003.

April 3, 2024
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