By Richard Serra
Category: Sculpture


Serra’s piece Joe, commissioned in memory of Joseph Pulitzer, is an enormous plate of hot rolled steel torqued into a spiral resting in the courtyard of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. More than thirteen feet tall, this piece oscillates between installation and sculpture as it totally engulfs the viewer with its size. Joe relies on human interaction to achieve its effect and thereby becomes a strange, disorienting environment. Hal Foster, renowned art historian and professor at Cornell University, in his text for an exhibition catalogue of Serra’s torqued ellipses, vividly describes the experience of walking the spiraling path. “It is as if your body becomes its own roller coaster, one tracked not up and down but round and round.” Serra, a graduate of Yale School of Art, is extremely articulate in explaining his work. He states, “The perceptual fragmentation, the multiplicity of views, the discontinuity in the process of viewing contribute to the fact that the installation cannot be reduced to one attainable image.”

For more information visit the Pulitzer Foundation website.

Dimensions: 13′
Year Completed: 2000
Material: Cor-ten Steel
Owner: The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

About the artist: