Richard Serra, (born November 2, 1939, San Francisco, California, U.S.), American sculptor who is best known for his large-scale abstract steel sculptures, whose substantial presence forces viewers to engage with the physical qualities of the works and their particular sites. Like other minimalists of his generation, Serra steered clear of art as metaphor or symbol, proposing instead the idea of sculpture as a phenomenological experience of weight, gravity, space, process, and time. Yet his sculptures still evoke a sense of the sublime through their sheer scale and materiality.
Serra was exposed early to the processes of metalwork; his father worked as a pipe fitter in the shipbuilding industry, and Richard worked in steel mills during his college years. He entered the University of California, Berkeley, in 1957 and graduated from the university’s Santa Barbara campus in 1961 with a B.A. in English literature. Serra had been interested in art since childhood, however, and he went on to study painting at Yale University, where by 1964 he had earned both B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees. Supported by fellowships, he spent time in France and Italy before moving to New York City in 1966.
Untitled 1972 is a Richard Serra original sketch using just oil stick on paper. It measures 41.75 x 30.75 in. (106.04 x 78.1 cm.). Dated & inscribed on verso, by Richard Serra’s hand.
Untitled 1972 is made up of three long vertical lines realised with oil stick, correspondingly exemplifies the minimal and richly surfaced monochromatic drawings. In these drawings, Serra applies oil stick, which he initially melts down to form a large block, in layers to build up the surface, persisting with a detailed process. His large drawings are reminiscent of and retain the personality of his sculptures, especially in their tactility and thickness of the applied oil stick.
Originally bought from the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York, it still features their sticker on verso. It is also extensively exhibited.