Richard Serra Drawings Fergus McCaffrey Tokyo

Virtual Talk about Richard Serra’s Latest Exhibition at Fergus McCaffrey

Fumio Nanjo and Min Tanaka Discuss the Work of Richard Serra

Wednesday, July 8 at 1:00 p.m.

Live via Zoom

Admission: Free

New York- and Tokyo-based art gallery Fergus McCaffrey will host an online discussion featuring Fumio Nanjo, art critic, curator, and senior advisor of Mori Art Museum, and esteemed international avant-garde dancer, Min Tanaka. The virtual discussion will explore American artist Richard Serra’s relationship with Japan and re-contextualize the artist’s work in the country that, in his own words, “defined his way of seeing.”

Richard Serra: Drawings

The exhibition Richard Serra: Drawings is currently on view through August 29 at Fergus McCaffrey Tokyo. Serra is showcasing ten of his new Orient drawings. The artist produced the Orient drawings  through a dynamic interplay between the his exertion and the materials he employs. He spread a dense, black mixture made up of variations of the pigment—from impasto, to etching ink, and silica—across a flat surface onto which he then pressed a robust paper. Using only a steel implement and the physical weight of his body, Serra moves the tincture, creating unique applications. In avoiding all decision regarding the eventual surface of his work, the artist adjusts this black mass through its gestural, yet blind, manipulation. The leaden texture of the imprints results from the eventual pulling of the paper away from its bed of black substance, concluding in rich viscous irregularities.

For more than five decades, Richard Serra’s sculptures and drawings have reflected a studied interest in exertion set within the parameters of time. While heralded for his monumental, site-specific sculptures, Serra has been pushing the thresholds of drawings, beginning from his work in black impasto since 1971. Key to both of these explorations is his sustained engagement with gravity and weight.

Richard Serra Drawings Fergus McCaffrey Tokyo
Richard Serra: Drawings at Fergus McCaffrey Tokyo

Richard Serra and Japan

In 1970, Serra was invited to participate in Between Man and Matter, better known today as the 10th Tokyo Biennale, famously producing his first outdoor sculpture To Encircle Base Plate (Hexagram) on the occasion of the exhibition. This initial visit to Japan strongly impacted Serra, who has subsequently noted in an interview with Hal Foster the austere Japanese garden’s influence on his exploration of time within a perceptual field, in both his landscape and sculptural work.

Kyoto defined my way of seeing. The perceptual space of the Zen garden reveals the landscape as a total field, its organization based on the assumption of a moving viewer. The focus is never on the isolated sculptural object but on the syncretistic complexity of the whole.”

Richard Serra
2001 Belknap Lecture at Princeton

Image credit: Photograph by Anzai Shigeo © ANZAÏ; courtesy ZEIT-FOTO. From
Image credit: Photograph by Anzai Shigeo © ANZAÏ; courtesy ZEIT-FOTO. From

In consideration of their increasingly global audience, Fergus McCaffrey is offering two screenings of the online discussion:

Wednesday, July 8 at 7:30 p.m. (JST)—Click here to register.
Wednesday, July 8 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT)—Click here to register.

Registration is required.

For questions or more information, please contact:

Explore Digitally

In conjunction with the exhibition, everyone can explore the third edition of FM Forward, the gallery’s digital platform for cultivating insightful connections between the gallery’s artists, their pivotal artworks, and the engaged community.

About Fergus McCaffrey

Founded in 2006, Fergus McCaffrey is internationally recognized for its groundbreaking role in promoting the work of postwar Japanese artists such as Sadamasa Motonaga, Kazuo Shiraga and Jiro Takamatsu. The gallery also exhibits the work of emerging and seminal Western artists including Marcia Hafif, Birgit Jürgenssen, Richard Nonas, Sigmar Polke and Carol Rama.

In keeping with the gallery’s commitment to Japanese art and culture, McCaffrey opened its Tokyo outpost in March 2018 with an exhibition of paintings by Robert Ryman. The gallery’s 2019–2020 program featured solo exhibitions by Ari Marcopoulos, Jasper Johns, Martha Jungwirth, and Richard Serra, among others.

For more information about Fergus McCaffrey, please visit its website.


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