Richard Serra, American (b. 1939)
Forged weatherproof steel, 3 blocks, 4 x 5 x 6’
Museum purchase from the Jere Abbott Acquisitions Fund
Installed in the museum's courtyard in July 2000, Richard Serra's three-part sculpture, 4-5-6 was created specifically for the Paul J. Schupf Sculpture Court and scaled to echo the museum walls that surround it. The title "4-5-6" comes from the 4'x5'x6' dimensions of the three identical, 30-ton masses, forged from solid COR-TEN© steel, a material that oxidizes naturally to weatherproof the sculpture and produce the warm color fundamental to the sculpture's aesthetic. Each of the block-shaped elements rests on a different face to create the illusion that they are different sizes.
Serra collaborated with architect Frederick Fisher, designer of the museum's Lunder Wing, to transform the terrace into a sculpture court. Paul J. Schupf, a Colby trustee and donor of The Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz, gave the naming gift for the sculpture court.
Serra's work is rigorously abstract, aggressive in its demands upon the viewer, divested of narrative and illusion, and uncompromising in its physical presence. The sheer physicality of Serra's large-scale sculpture is an essential component of the viewer’s experience.
Views of Richard Serra’s 4-5-6 at various times of the year.
The Installation of 4-5-6
On August 1, 2000, a 90-ton solid steel sculpture by American artist Richard Serra was officially presented to the public at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine. The three block elements of 4-5-6, designed expressly for the museum's courtyard, are solid, forged steel, and each measures four feet by five feet by six feet. "There's a lot of romantic sensibility-something that has a heroic presence-and people sense it," said New York gallery owner Renato Danese about the sculpture.