Walking Into Art

Walking into Art, Cantor Art Center, Stanford University

Walking into Art, Cantor Art Center, Stanford University

Visitors to the Cantor Art Center at Stanford are encouraged to walk into this large unpainted steel sculpture by San Francisco native Richard Serra. Once inside, the blue sky is still visible through the open top, but the sculpture’s sides tilt inward at strange angles and some people feel disoriented.

Entering Richard Serra's steel sculpture, Sequence.

Visitors entering Richard Serra’s steel sculpture, Sequence, installed on a reinforced concrete patio at the Cantor Art Center, Stanford.

The two halves of Serra’s sculpture are joined by an “S-shaped” passageway which curves back on itself; this adds to the viewer’s disorientation. But, if the visitors keep on going forward following the curves, they eventually return to the very spot where they entered the 235 ton piece of steel. It’s a strange experience.


Sequence was first shown in the exhibition Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2007. The huge sculpture was then dismantled and moved cross-country to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art where it was on display from 2008 to 2011.

The monumental work will be at Stanford until 2016, when Sequence will once again be dismantled for the move to its permanent home at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA. That’s a lot of moves for a 235 ton piece of art.

More on this amazing work can be found in the Stanford Report of July 26, 2011. A video of the installation at Stanford is on Daily Serving, and an extensive article on Richard Serra was published by the PBS program Art21.