Art21 Extended Play

Exclusive | Richard Serra: Tools & Strategies

Production still from the "Exclusive" episode, "Richard Serra: Tools & Strategies." © Art21, Inc. 2013.

Production still from the Exclusive episode, Richard Serra: Tools & Strategies. © Art21, Inc. 2013.

“What’s interesting about artists is that they constantly come up with ways of informing themselves by inventing tools or techniques or processes that allow them to see into a material manifestation in the way that you would not if you dealt with standardized or academic ways of thinking.”
—Richard Serra

The latest video from our Exclusive series is now available for your viewing: Richard Serra: Tools & Strategies.

Filmed in 2000 at Richard Serra’s Manhattan studio, the artist describes the various tools and conceptual strategies he has used throughout his career when working with lead and steel. Serra discusses his early focus on the nature of the art production process itself which resulted in his writing a “Verb List” (1967-68). Multiple lead works that resulted from Serra acting out the “Verb List” are shown through archival images. Serra’s invention of a tool that twisted sheet metal around a wheel enabled him to shape steel in a new way–from the inside out. “Torqued Ellipses” (1996-97), which resulted from this process, are shown at Dia:Beacon in 2004.

Watch the full episode and learn more about Richard Serra on