A picket footbridge leads by way of dense forest to a clearing. On this sylvan glade stands a concrete temple. Inside are 4 totems, cast in metal, each weighing 82 tons. Daylight streaming by way of mild wells and skylights set into the ceiling above illuminate the wealthy rusted patina on the floor of the cylinders, each with the color and texture of the floor of Mars.
4 Rounds: Equal Weight, Unequal Measure (2017) is a monument to austerity in artwork by Richard Serra. The 4 models push on the absolute limits of what a foundry is able to forging. Equally spectacular is the brand new construction designed to deal with the work at its everlasting house at Glenstone, the up to date artwork museum in Potomac, Maryland, based by collectors Emily Wei and Mitchell Rales.
This new temple is the most recent pavilion designed by Thomas Phifer for the museum. Very like the Rothko Chapel in Houston or the Ellsworth Kelly shrine in Austin, the constructing is a purpose-built facility for showcasing the work of a single artist. Two artists, actually: the brand new Glenstone pavilion is a dialog in kind and materials between Phifer and Serra, rendered in concrete and metal.
“Richard Serra lives on this world along with his work in white sheet-rock areas with good concrete flooring, and he hates that,” Phifer says. “He needs these areas to have an authenticity to them, made in a symbiotic option to his work.”
Serra’s piece was first exhibited at David Zwirner in New York Metropolis in 2017. After the run within the gallery, the metal cylinders had been left in a yard in New Jersey, uncovered to the weather. Transport the works to suburban Washington, DC, required a visitors examine. The sculpture was put in in place on a four-feet-thick concrete ground slab earlier than the constructing was completed; like a ship in a bottle, the 4,000-sq.-ft construction was constructed across the sculpture.
4 Rounds joins two different works by Serra at Glenstone: Sylvester (2001), a torqued metal spiral, and Counter 290 (2004), a curving line in metal. The brand new pavilion can also be the second Glenstone challenge for Phifer and Companions. The agency additionally designed the museum’s 2018 enlargement, which is house to a monumental set up by Michael Heizer, Collapse” (1967/2016), amongst different up to date works.
For the Serra pavilion, Phifer deployed an totally spare palette of cast-in-place structural concrete for the constructing. Tie holes within the concrete blocks present the place picket structural helps had been used throughout casting. The concrete types are commonplace in measurement; the color and tone of the concrete is the way it got here from the plant. Just like the minimalist art work it homes, the constructing speaks to the strategies of its manufacturing.
“There aren’t too many gestures right here,” Phifer says. “There’s the proportion of the room, the peak and the width of each wall, the character of the strains, the peak of the area, the standard of the concrete and the proportioning of the door. And the trail and the choreography of it you are taking to get right here.”
The architect describes taking this path to the Serra sanctuary as a means of “cleaning”. Not like the bustle of conventional museum galleries, the pure forest stroll prepares viewers to expertise the work. The theatricality of this new manufacturing is a top quality that distinguishes Glenstone from its friends (particularly Dia:Beacon).
Opening so quickly after the 2018 enlargement, the brand new pavilion unlocks the intriguing risk that the Glenstone campus is much from full. For his half, Phifer describes the expertise of designing the addition as a singular collaboration between artist and architect.
“He’s so observant concerning the area that his work lives in,” Phifer says. “That have, to me, is a real, life-changing second. As a result of who is healthier than Richard?”