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To Encircle Base Plate Hexagram, Right Angles Inverted

Artist
Richard Serra, American, born 1938
Date
1970
Material
Hot-rolled steel
Made in
United States, North and Central America
Associated with
New York, New York, United States, North and Central America
Probably made in
New York, United States, North and Central America
Classification
Metalwork, sculpture
Current Location
On View, Outdoor, North Entrance
Dimensions
diameter: 25 ft. 4 in. (772.2 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald K. Greenberg
Rights
© Richard Serra / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY
Object Number
152:1984
NOTES
Embedded into the road between the Saint Louis Art Museum and Art Hill, this large circular sculpture is barely apparent at street level. The work is comprised of two identical steel semi-circular components—one upright, the other inverted. In each a horizontal metal plate is joined to a vertical outer band forming an L-shape in profile. On the upright half of the circle the plate is buried under the pavement, while on the inverted half the plate sits flush with the surface of the road. The title of this sculpture both describes its form and suggests the goals it is intended to achieve: to encircle, contain, and define space. "Base Plate" refers to the enclosed pavement as if it were a plate of steel. "Hexagram" describes the six surfaces of the sculpture: the outside and inside of the outer band and the top and bottom of each of the two plates. "Right Angles Inverted" points to the positioning of the upright and inverted L-shaped bands. Richard Serra's first public artwork in the United States, this sculpture was originally installed in the Bronx, New York, from 1970 to 1972. Serra meant for viewers to walk and drive over the work and, through this process, to become more aware of the street itself and the sculpture's relationship to it.
- 1973
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY [1]

1973 - 1986
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald K. Greenberg, St. Louis, MO, purchased from Leo Castelli Gallery [2]

1984 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Mr. and Mrs. Ronald K. Greenberg [3]


Notes:
[1] See Deed of Partial Gift dated 12/15/1984 which lists previous owners [SLAM document files]. Sculpture was installed in the street at 183rd Street and Webster Avenue, the Bronx, NY, from 1970 to 1972.

[2] See Deed of Partial Gift dated 12/15/1984 [SLAM document files]. Mr. and Mrs. Greenberg transferred 15% of title in 1984, 60% in 1985, and total ownership in 1986; see letters from Ronald K. Greenberg dated December 13, 1984, December 19, 1985, and November 22, 1986 [SLAM document files]. Sculpture was installed in Mr. and Mrs. Greenberg's yard from 1973-1978.

[3] Minutes of the Acquisitions and Loans Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, December 14, 1984.
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