Visiting Dia:Beacon marked my second time encountering Richard Serra’s Torqued Ellipse series. I distinctively recall the sculptures’ sheer sizes during my first visit at a Chelsea gallery. They towered above us, prompting us to maneuver around the labyrinth pieces of steel. The movement of paths the sculptures paved, fooled our perception of the work, since we were consistently shifting our senses to comprehend the piece by whole. And this time at Dia:Beacon, the strong directional lighting from the warehouse windows gave a new light to the daunting yet mesmerizing installation.
The sunlight built a complementing dynamic with Serra’s sculptures. Where the sunlight reached, there was a magical aura, and where the sun stopped foot, there was a cold looming darkness. My senses of touch and vision heightened accordingly, as I increasingly felt the tension between light and dark. There was an intuition that it was difficult to get a grasp of this piece so long I was engulfed in it.
And that was exactly Serra’s intension: to evoke a physical awareness that wasn’t restricted to the optical. Too many times art is perceived to be exclusive for the eye when it can give meaning to almost any aspect of our lives. Like Serra at Beacon, there was a meaningful moment in time when place, space and movement gave a purpose that eclipses our daily senses.
Roll Neck: Calvin Klein