The Phillips Collects: Richard Serra

Richard Serra, Reykjavik, 1991

Richard Serra, Reykjavik, 1991, Paintstik over screenprint on Japan paper, 67 x 76 in., ed. 7/46, The Phillips Collection, Gift of Sid Stolz and David Hatfield. Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Reykjavik is a silkscreen created with oil-stick at Gemini G.E.L Editions, where Richard Serra (b. 1938) worked frequently during the late 1980s and the early 1990s, developing a process that gives these prints the weight and physical presence of his sculpture. Here, he begins with a single layer of flat black ink applied onto a specially treated paper in the areas to be coated with oil-stick. The rich quality of the work is the result of passing the viscous material through the screen and from using a textured roller over the surface of the print. Serra’s Afangar (1990)—a topological sculpture project on a small island near Reykjavik comprised of nine pairs of black basalt columns cut from local quarries and placed around the island’s periphery—was a source of inspiration for this series of prints. Working on the project prompted Serra to fill many notebooks with drawings, which were later transferred onto small etching plates. Serra turned to silkscreen to achieve on paper a sense of monumental landscape.

Detail of Richard Serra, Reykjavik, 1991

Detail of Richard Serra, Reykjavik, 1991. Photo: Kabrea Hayman

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