Glenstone Museum announces new building conceived for a large-scale work by Richard Serra, opening in 2022
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Glenstone Museum announces new building conceived for a large-scale work by Richard Serra, opening in 2022
Rendering of the boardwalk approach to the new building at Glenstone Museum, conceived to house a large-scale Richard Serra work and designed in collaboration between the artist and Thomas Phifer of Thomas Phifer and Partners. Located on Glenstone’s Woodland Trail, with landscape design by Adam Greenspan/PWP. Image: The Boundary. Courtesy: Glenstone Museum.

POTOMAC, MD.- Glenstone Museum today announced plans to construct a building specially conceived to house a major sculpture by American artist Richard Serra, extending the museum’s outdoor program of art, architecture, and landscape along its Woodland Trail. Designed as a collaboration between Richard Serra and Thomas Phifer of Thomas Phifer and Partners, architect of the Pavilions at Glenstone, the building will open in spring/summer 2022.

The 4,000-square-foot concrete structure was commissioned to house a large-scale sculpture that is one of the artist’s most recent works. Visitors will approach by way of the Woodland Trail on the eastern side of Glenstone’s property, following a gently curved path extending from the bridge over Greenbriar Stream, ultimately entering the building through a single, centered doorway. The project expands the visitor experience at Glenstone, adding opportunities for visitors to engage with art and architecture as well as the museum’s surrounding landscape, which is designed by Adam Greenspan of PWP Landscape Architecture.

“Richard Serra’s works have been anchors in the collection since the beginning and Tom Phifer’s vision has come to define the new Glenstone since he designed the Pavilions,” said Emily Wei Rales, director and co-founder of Glenstone Museum. “It’s deeply gratifying to work with Richard and Tom again, this time as collaborators, alongside our long-time landscape architect Adam Greenspan. We can’t wait to share this new building and installation with our visitors next year.”

“Creating another building for Glenstone’s extraordinary landscape while working with Richard Serra, without question one of the greatest artists of our time, is the honor of a lifetime,” said Thomas Phifer. “I hope when people come upon this experience they will find it surprising, powerful, and deeply moving.”

For more than fifty years, Richard Serra has used abstract forms to consider the dynamic between material and the space shared by viewer and artwork. Weatherproof steel, which develops a rich patina, has become synonymous with his practice. Two of Serra’s steel sculptures are installed in the Glenstone landscape: Sylvester, 2001, a torqued spiral situated just outside of the Gallery entrance, and Contour 290, 2004, a site-specific, 223-foot-long freestanding ribbon of steel located just beyond the Woodland Trail.

Since the 1960s, Richard Serra has exhibited nationally and internationally and installed more than 100 permanent outdoor works. In 2007, the Museum of Modern Art, New York mounted a retrospective of his work and in 2011, a retrospective of his drawing practice traveled from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Menil Collection, Houston. He has participated in several international exhibitions including documenta (1972, 1977, 1982, and 1987) and the Venice Biennale (1980, 1984, 2001, and 2013). Among many other awards, in 2018 he received the J. Paul Getty Medal and in 2015 he received France’s highest honor as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

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