I suppose it dates me, as does so much in this journal, to like Richard Serra's work. This piece was in an exhibition in the 1980s of Serra and Keifer at the Saatchi Gallery – can't think of two more powerful artists at the time – it was overwhelming.
This particular set of works was all about balancing extremely heavy sheets of steel in configurations that leant against the gallery walls, or against each other. It was dangerous, fragile, deceptively still. A heavy lead pipe sagged quietly in a corner. The gallery rooms were small, silent, all that metal lying not quite inert.
This drawing, however, from 1972, being just oil stick on paper, races off the page.
Have always seen Serra's work as a series of registrations: of land, of physical forces, of structural properties – that intersection of a natural world of weather, people and, usually, civilised urban spaces and Serra's great slabs that in interrupting the natural order we never think about, actually point it out, heighten it, makes us think about the drones in the gallery system installing these dangerous works, or the office workers whose ant-like paths across the plaza are diverted, annoyed, or the allegedly neutral walls, floors and spaces of the gallery or museum which are forced into strenuous support of a temporary installation. The work is so structurally and formally engaged that it forces us to engage with it.