Paris, Grand Palais

Anselm Kiefer's superb and haunting installation for the first edition of Monumenta last year was always going to be a tough act to follow. This time around, it is the American artist Richard Serra, known for his large-scale curving steel sculptures, who has been invited to stage a solo show. Yet visitors hoping to discover an installation as impressive as Serra's retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York last summer will be disappointed.
Serra has created a minimal work that interacts with the verticality of the space. He has installed five tall, repetitive steel plinths, of slightly varying heights and forms, which create an axis through the Grand Palais.
In an interview with Alfred Pacquement, the director of the Pompidou Center, Serra explained he felt "submerged" by the architecture and wanted to "handle and structure" its dimensions. His dark plinths contrast with the transparent glass ceiling and the way the nave is flooded with natural light. But one is left thinking that this is not really Serra at his best.

May 7 through June 15, 2008
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