Richard Serra is an American artist living in New York known for producing large steel sculptural works that challenge viewers’ perception of their bodies in relation to interior spaces and landscapes. His work often encourages movement in and around his sculptures.
His father worked as a factory foreman in steel mills and as a pipe-fitter, which Serra describes as an important influence to his work.
Most famous is the “Torqued Ellipse” series, which began in 1996 as single elliptical forms inspired by the soaring space of the early 17th century Baroque church San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in Rome. Made of huge steel plates bent into circular sculptures with open tops, they rotate upward as they lean in or out.
Whilst his sculptural works sell for amounts in excess of $5M apiece – his early career started somewhat more humbly. During his studies he helped support himself by working in steel mills and at one point, to fund his art, Serra started a furniture-removals business, Low-Rate Movers, and employed Chuck Close, Philip Glass, Spalding Gray, and others.