Richard Serra's 'Promenade' in Paris

Outside the Grand Paleis

Made a quick trip to Paris this past weekend, and I made of point of heading over to the Grand Paleis for Richard Serra’s Monumenta 2008 installation entitled ‘Promenade’. I had never been in the building before, and this was a neat way to see it; nearly empty, with Serra’s five tall steel columns set up through the length of the hall.

Richard Serra's Promenade

One of the best features of the installation was that they had a audio guide largely consisting of Serra talking about the piece, explaining some of his thought process as he designed it for this particular building.

Serra's Promenade

The title acknowledges that the piece is all about walking through the space, using the columns as a way of guiding you through it, perspectives changing as you stroll up to and around the columns and then back away.

 

Serra's Promenade

It also had me thinking about the steel of the columns versus the steel of the glass roof, straight lines and curved metal. Serra also talked about spending some time in Kyoto, getting a sense of the zen gardens there where the individual object in the setting is less important than the whole of the garden.

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