Richard Serra drawing on a lithographic plate, Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, 1972
Gift of Kenneth Tyler 2002
Photographer: Daniel Freeman

Richard Serra was born in San Francisco in 1939. He received his BA from the University of California in 1961, and his MFA from Yale University in 1964. After travelling and working extensively in Europe, Serra relocated to New York in 1966. He started creating sculpture by throwing molten lead against the ground in 1967, and began to create his Minimalist, often site-specific, sculpture from large sheets of metal after 1970. Though he is most widely known for this type of work, Serra has also worked in film and print.

In 1972 he began his print practice at Gemini GEL with a series of lithographs. The prints, with their energetic mark-making, are typical of the artist’s dynamic and often spontaneous early sculpture, while the preoccupation with shape foreshadows his later work.
Emilie Owens


Born in San Francisco, California, United States of America

Completes Bachelor of Arts, University of California, at Berkeley and Santa Barbara campuses

Collaborates with Josef Albers on The Interaction of Color (New Haven: Yale University Press)

Completes Masters of Fine Arts, Yale University, New Haven, Conneticut;

Receives Yale Traveling Fellowship, lives in Paris, France for one year; travels to Athens, Greece and Istanbul, Turkey

Receives Fulbright grant, lives in Florence First solo exhibition, Galleria La Salita, Rome Moves to New York, New York

Included in Annual exhibition,Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Solo exhibition, Leo Castelli Warehouse, New York; included in exhibition, Nine young artists, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; When attitudes become form, Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland 

Receives John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation FellowshipIncluded in Between man and matter, Tokyo Biennale, Japan; included in Annual exhibition,Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Included in exhibitions:Paris biennale, France; The Triennale of India, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Dehli;The Sixth Guggenheim International,Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York City; Art And technology, LA County Museum of Art, California

Included in exhibitions: Documenta 5, Kassel, West Germany; Diagrams and drawings, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, The Netherlands;  Spoleto arts festival, Spoleto, Italy

Included in Biennial exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and again in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1995, 2006

Included in exhibitions: Some recent American art, organised by the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, travelled to National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, City of Auckland Gallery, New Zealand

Receives award from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine Included in travelling exhibitions: Color as language, organised by the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Sculpture American directions 1945-75, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Solo exhibition, Richard Serra: tekeningen/drawings 1971-77, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; included in exhibitions: Documenta 6, Kassel, West Germany; Paris-New York, Musée National d’art moderne, Paris

Included in Annual exhibition, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

Receives Kaiserring Award for sculpture from the town of Goslar, West Germany Included in Biennale exhibition, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Included in, Documenta 7, Kassel, West Germany

Receives honorary fellowship from the Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem, Israel Solo exhibition, Richard Serra, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; included in exhibition, Seventeenth biennale Antwerpen, Park Middelheim, Belgium; travels to Japan

Included in exhibitions: Venice biennale, Italy; Gemini GEL: art and collaboration, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Receives the Carnegie Award, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Included in exhibition, Internationale triennale de Zeichnung, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, West Germany

Solo exhibition, Richard Serra: sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York; included in exhibition, Public and private: American prints today, Brooklyn Museum, New York

Solo exhibition, Richard Serra: 7 spaces, 7 sculptures, Stadtische Galerie, Munich, West Germany; included in exhibition, Documenta 8, Kassel, West Germany; L’Epoque, la mode, la morale, la passion 1977-87: aspects de l’art d’Aujourd, Musée National d’Art moderne, Paris; Gemini GEL: art and collaboration, LA County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

Travelling solo exhibition, Richard Serra: das druckgraphische werk Kunstverein 1972-88, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, West Germany; included in exhibition, From the Southern Cross: a view of world art c. 1940 – 1988, Biennale of Sydney, Australia

Solo exhibition, Richard Serra: tekeningen/drawings, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, the Netherlands;included in exhibitions: The new sculpture 1965-75: between geometry and gesture, originating at the Museum of American Art, New York; The unique print/ 70s into the 90s, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts

Included in exhibition, Carnegie international, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh Receives Wilhelm Lehmbruck prize for sculpture in Duisburg, Germany

Solo exhibition, Richard Serra, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Madrid, Spain; included in exhibition, Both art and life: Gemini at 25, Newport Harbor Art Museum, California

Included in exhibition, The second dimension: twentieth century sculptors drawings, Brooklyn Museum, New York; Beyond boundaries – art of the 1960s and 70s, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco

Solo exhibition, Richard Serra: weight and measure, drawings, Drawing Center, New York Receives the Praemium Imperiale Award for sculpture, Tokyo

Solo exhibition, Richard Serra: exchange (Dessins), Musée National d’Historie et d’Art, Luxembourg; included in exhibitions: Abstraction in the twentieth century: total risk, freedom, discipline, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Thinking print: books to billboards 1980-95, Museum of Modern Art, New York; International graphic biennial, Kaliningrad-Königsberg, Russia

Solo exhibition, Torqued ellipses, Dia Center for the Arts, New York; included in Fourth biennale de Lyon, France

Solo exhibition, Richard Serra, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Included in Venice biennale, Italy

Included in exhibitions: Jasper Johns & Richard Serra, at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; A minimal future? Art as object 1958–1968, at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California

Solo exhibition, Richard Serra: new etchings, at Works on Paper Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Included in exhibition, Whitney biennial 2006: day for night, at Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Solo exhibition, Richard Serra sculpture: forty years, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Solo exhibitions: Richard Serra drawings: work comes out of work, at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria; Richard Serra: promenade, at Grand Palais, Paris, France

Travelling solo exhibition, Richard Serra drawing: a retrospective, originating at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; included in group exhibition, Malevich and the American legacy, at Gagosian Gallery, New York

Solo exhibitions: Transparencies: Richard Serra recent drawings, at Craig F. Starr Gallery, New York; Richard Serra: drawings, at Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France

Solo exhibitions: Richard Serra: drawings for the Courtauld, at Courtauld Gallery, London, England; Richard Serra: double rifts, at Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles; Richard Serra: trajectory, at Alan Cristea Gallery, London, England; Richard Serra: early work, at David Zwirner, New York

Richard Serra currently lives and works in New York and Nova Scotia, Canada

Barbara Delano © Tyler Graphics Ltd., revised Kate Buckingham, 2007; revised Julia Greenstreet, 2013
This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime.

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated November 2015