Richard Serra: Early Work

Text by Hal Foster

Published to celebrate the critically acclaimed 2013 exhibition at David Zwirner in New York, a show that The New York Times art critic Ken Johnson called “near perfect,” Richard Serra: Early Work devotes over three hundred pages to a key five-year period of the artist’s earliest work. Anchored by exquisite black-and-white plates, from installation views of works in situ to documentary photographs, this “impressively realized” publication offers “a blow-by-blow account of Serra’s rapidly expanding art-world presence,” as described in a Bookforum review. Focusing specifically on work the artist produced during the period between 1966 and 1971, this classic tome documents the significance of his early work, with archival texts and reviews, alongside new scholarship by American art critic and historian Hal Foster. 

Produced in close collaboration with the artist, this monograph aims to reconsider the groundbreaking practices and ideas that so firmly situate Serra in the history of twentieth-century art. Its stunning selection of seminal works illuminates the debut of the artist’s innovative, process-oriented experiments with nontraditional materials, such as vulcanized rubber, neon, and lead, and introduces the interplay of gravity and material—of "verticality and horizontality,” writes Foster—that would remain a fundamental aspect of Serra’s production over the subsequent decades. Also featured in the publication are key early examples of the artist’s work in steel, as well as stills from some of his most important early films.


Publisher: David Zwirner / Steidl

Artists: Richard Serra

Contributors: Hal Foster

Designer: McCall Associates

Printer: Steidl, Göttingen, Germany

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Hardcover

Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 12 inches (24.1 x 30.5 cm)

Pages: 340

Reproductions: 19 color, 175 tritone

ISBN: 9780989980906

Retail: $85 | £54 | $665 KHD | €73

Status: Available

Richard Serra

Richard Serra’s (b. 1938) first solo exhibitions were held at the Galleria La Salita, Rome, 1966, and, in the United States, at the Leo Castelli Warehouse, New York, in 1969. His first solo museum exhibition was held at The Pasadena Art Museum in 1970. Serra has since participated in Documenta 5 (1972), 6 (1977), 7 (1982), and 8 (1987), in Kassel; the Venice Biennales of 1980, 1984, 2001, and 2013; and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Annual and Biennial exhibitions of 1968, 1970, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1995, and 2006.

All Richard Serra books

Hal Foster

Hal Foster, an art historian and well-known author on modern and contemporary art and theory, is the Townsend Martin, Class of 1917, Professor of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University. His numerous books include Prosthetic Gods (2004), Design and Crime (2002), the textbook Pop Art (2005), The Return of the Real (1996), and Compulsive Beauty (1993). Foster’s intellectual formation took place in the cultural context of late-1970s New York, initially as a critic, then as a critical art historian. He began to write for Artforum in 1978 and was an editor at Art in America from 1981 to 1987. In 1983, he edited a seminal collection of essays on postmodernism, The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture (Bay Press), and in 1985 published his first collection of essays, Recodings: Art Spectacle, Cultural Politics (Bay Press). In 1987, Foster became the Director of Critical and Curatorial Studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program. Foster has been an editor of October and October Books since 1991 and writes regularly for art publications, including Artforum, London Review of Books, and New Left Review.?