The gigantic, warehouse-like 24th Street branch of Gagosian is one of the only gallery spaces in the city that could accommodate Richard Serra’s latest solo show, Junction/Cycle, on view until November 26th. Inside, Mr. Serra has installed two enormous pieces that fill the entire space. Both are nearly 15 feet tall, 50 feet across, one is 70 feet long and the other is 60, all made of thin sheets of weatherproof steel, comprised as much of the empty spaces in between the material as they are of the curved and imposing metal structures.
At the opening last night, The Observer was walking around inside of them. It was early and a crowd had yet to trickle in. Standing between the towers of metal, the gallery outside was essentially invisible. It felt like walking through a rust-colored canyon. The Observer was sauntering through one of these shadowy passageways for some time and it wasn’t ending. That claustrophobic pang of fear that arises when you get stuck in an elevator briefly emerged and then dissipated as The Observer emerged out into the bright gallery. An orange sunset was beaming through the space.
“Don’t get lost!” A security guard warned us with poor timing.
From afar, the works were a collage of subtly different colors and textures. Some of it was the same color as the setting sun gleaming through the windows. Parts took on the appearance of old tree trunks, others looked like shiny linoleum, one section was a dead-ringer for a Clyfford Still canvas.
As the crowd came in, the throng looked like it was either coming from or going to a Fashion Week show. The Garage Magazine ice cream truck, a kind of marker of the week’s big openings, was parked outside. There was a group of people clumsily handling free copies of Garage with ice cream-covered hands.
The Observer missed Larry Gagosian and Mr. Serra. They showed up late.