Richard Serra at the Gagosian Gallery

Photo © Gagosian Gallery
Over the last couple of years the Gagosian Gallery on Via Francesco Crispi has put on some stunning shows and the latest - Greenpoint Rounds, a series of nine new drawings by Richard Serra – is once again, a must-see exhibition. Serra is best known for his monumental sculptures, yet there is something decidedly monumental about these large scale drawings too. Measuring almost 2 metres square and consisting of large black circles built up through layers and layers of melted paint-stick creating a dense surface on handmade Japanese paper, these drawings have an inherently tactile quality.

Whilst the drawings would seem to fit into an esoteric theme with each highly individual piece given the name of a writer – Melville is shown in the smaller ante-gallery for example, whilst Primo Levi, Calvino, Borges, Artaud, Baldwin, Butor, Cormac McCarthy and Dreiser cover the walls of the main oval gallery – the collective impact of these powerful works is visceral rather than intellectual. On the day I visited the show it was a gorgeous sunny day – stepping into the gallery my first impression was that these were solar eclipses, or even dying suns. As I moved from drawing to drawing and stared closer at the encrusted surface, however, I was suddenly reminded of the Iceland volcanic, which at that very moment was belching ash into the skies of northern Europe, and instead saw the mouths of nine volcanos ready to erupt. It's a wonderful show - prepare to be mesmerized!

Richard Serra - Greenpoint Rounds continues at the Gagosian Gallery at Via Francesco Crispi, 16 until 15 May, 2010.