Serra, Richard

  • Year : 1990
  • Height : 300 cm
  • Width : 50 cm
  • Category : Skúlptúr
  • Sub-category : Steinskúlptúr

Standing Stones by American artist Richard Serra is an environmental artwork that stretches across the west island of Viðey and makes a strong impression on its surrounding environment. Composed of columnar basalt, the work references the island’s geological history and, at the same time, underlines its unbreakable connection to its surroundings. The work is based on rules set by the artist and may sound complicated (it is best to experience it in person because it then will explain itself). Basalt columns are paired around the circumference of the western part of the island, the gap between them determined by the gradient of the land, forming nine different gates that frame the view in different directions. One column stands nine meters above sea level and the other ten, another rises four meters from the ground and the other three. The top of all the columns is level, as can be seen from the highest point of the island at eighteen meters above sea level. Like other works by Richard Serra, his environmental works inspire the audience to move in a specific way and experience their surroundings anew. The Icelandic name, Áfangar, is taken from a well-known poem by Jón Helgason, while in the artist's native language of English, the title is much more descriptive: Standing Stones - Nine locations - Two Elevations. The artwork was installed at the initiative of Reykjavík Arts Festival in 1990 and is in the care of the Reykjavík Art Museum.

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