Alex says Serra's work is a "continuation of a great American tradition of big violent art that goes back to Abstract Expressionism." I'd say Serra started out opposed to that tradition with the conceptual earth-type work I described above. The size had a purpose--the piece was "drawn" by the landscape (with measured human intervention). This idea of threat or violence seems to have become more apparent when he started putting big steel slabs in the gallery, or public places. Still, it wasn't supposed to be expressionistic--the minimalists were trying to prune that impulse out of art. When I said AbEx just now, I was referring to a late, prettifying faux-expressionism of the splashes of water that make the steel rust just so. That should be anathema to his whole program. Also, reading masculine or feminine qualities into the work is my interpretation, thinking he's giving off emotional vibes that he would deny intellectually.

- tom moody 4-20-2004 3:26 am

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