The Macklowe Collection: Kelsey Macpherson on Serra's Periodic Table, 1991

In this video, join Sotheby's Kelsey Macpherson in an exploration of Richard Serra's Periodic Table, to be offered as a highlight of The Macklowe Collection May 2022. Immense in scale and utterly enthralling in appearance, Periodic Table from 1991 is an arresting example of Richard Serra’s exquisite corpus of paintstick compositions. Commenced in the 1970s, the paintstick drawings represent an intensely physical endeavor for Serra. He began by melting down multiple sticks and pressing them into large paintstick “bricks,” which allowed him to tackle his medium with both hands. Attaching large sheets of paper to the wall and pressing the full weight of his body against the paint brick, Serra applies his medium with repetitive, vigorous gestures. In some areas, he presses molten paintstick through a screen of wire mesh, producing a thickly flecked texture that protrudes from the surface.

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