A Richard Serra Sculpture May Be Resurrected in Paris

The Centennial Celebration Continues for Roy Lichtenstein

A 210-ton sculpture by Richard Serra that has been stashed away in an industrial site outside of Paris for many years, may finally be resurrected and reinstalled in a Paris park.

 

The sculpture, Clara-Clara (named for Serra’s wife), was originally commissioned in 1983 as part of a retrospective for Richard Serra at the Centre Pompidou. The 100-foot high steel panels were too heavy to put in the museum, so the sculpture was placed in the Tuileries Garden instead. 

 

There were complaints by Parisians about the massive work being placed there, and, in 1985, it was moved to a small park in a neighborhood in the thirteenth arrondissement, where it was used as a backdrop for graffiti and  a shelter for people who needed a place to sleep. It was put into storage in 1990. Serra protested the move and it was once again placed in the Tuileries in 2008, the same year that Serra was awarded France’s highest national order of merit, the Legion d’Honneur.

 

The sculpture again created controversy, some saying it was too large and disrupted the view of classic Paris, and in 2009 it was once again dismantled and placed in storage. The large metal sheets that make up the sculpture have been rusting at a water plant in Ivry-sur-Seine, 

 

On April 2, Michelle Young, an adjunct professor of Architecture. Art at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, wrote an article about Clara-Clara for Hyperallergic. Young had seen the dismantled sculpture in 2010, during a semester abroad. 

 

Richard Serra died on March 26, 2024, at age 85. A week after Young’s article was published she spoke with Aurélien Véron, a councilman for the City of Paris, who had also wondered why Clara-Clara was not on view, even before Young's article was published.

 

“In a phone conversation with me this morning, April 9,” Young wrote, “Véron told me he was disappointed that the City of Paris did not acknowledge Serra’s death or respond to his request for information.”

 

Young wrote that the councilman has a few ideas of where Clara-Clara can be placed, so the sculpture may once again be resurrected.

 


 

 The Albertina Museum in Vienna is continuing the celebration of Roy Lichtenstein’s 100th birthday with a comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s works.

 

More than 90 paintings, sculptures and prints are on view, including some of the 100 or so works  that were donated to the Albertina by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. Other  pieces were loaned by international institutions including MoMA, the Whitney, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid and as well as private collectors.

 

Roy Lichtenstein: A Centennial Exhibition will be on view at the Albertina through July 14, 2024.

 

Coming up are two more major retrospectives: One at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in September 2024 and a retrospective at the Whitney is planned for the Fall of 2026.

 

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Roy Lichtenstein or Richard Serra available at VFA.

 


 

References:

Steven Pollock. Roy Lichtenstein: From The Ridiculous To The Sublime. The Brooklyn Rail. April 2024.

Jennifer Landes. Roy Lichtenstein at 100. The East Hampton Star. March 27, 2024.

Michelle Young. The Richard Serra Sculpture That Was Just Too Much for Paris. Hyperallergic. April 2, 2024.

Michelle Young. Will Richard Serra’s Forgotten Paris Sculpture Finally See the Light of Day? Hyperallergic. April 9, 2024.

April 18, 2024
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