Iron Man XVII
One of the sadder statements I've heard an artist make came from the famous tough-guy sculptor Richard Serra, in 2007, when he waxed lyrical about the popularity he'd finally achieved with his light-and-lively, oft-repeated "Torqued Ellipses", compared to the "hostility" he'd encountered from viewers of the weighty, challenging, protean art of his earlier career. In New York now, at Gagosian Gallery's 21st Street space, Serra has installed the latest iteration of his crowd-pleasing playground pieces, lighter and livelier than ever – I once called them "Dale Chihuly's glass baubles, blown up big for the heavy-metal set". But then at Gagosian's 24th Street space, Serra has new works – including the "7 Plates, 6 Angles" shown here – that point back to the heft and risk of his earlier art. Of course these are derivative, too, almost as though Serra were his own pupil, or a forger of his own pieces. But at least they "forge" (pun intended) the pieces by him that matter.
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