Richard Serra at Pasadena Art Museum, 1970

On January 28, 1970, the Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Warren Walworth reported on Richard Serra’s recently opened installation at the Pasadena Art Museum. He wrote:


Serra, who is bushy-haired, beardless and camera shy, has brought a chunk of the forest primeval to a new exhibition that opened Tuesday at Pasadena Art Museum. 

But no murmuring pines and hemlocks for Serra. He has filled one entire room with gigantic red fir logs – 80mtons of them – that shout for attention. 

The overall product is labeled sculpture. It consists of 12 individual logs, originally 20 to 25 feet long, about 4v feet in diameter and provided by trees that were 400 to 500 years old. 

They lie athwart a cement base 50 feet long, 7 feet wide and 10 inches high. The overhang at each side has been sliced off by a commercial tree expert wielding a power saw under the artist’s direction. The severed hunks rest where they fell at miscellaneous angles to the main mass. 

It is significant, Serra explains, that the 36 pieces resulting from this trisection “found their places according to the process in which they were done, not by arrangement and placing. It reveals what was done and how.” 

Another vital element is the sculpture’s relationship to the room housing it. 

“This piece was made for this place, in this place,” Serra noted. “This is different from shipping things around, or constructing things meant to be shipped around or reviewing things after they have already been made.” 

The logs were shipped in from Truckee. It took an 80-ton crane, forklift and six men to worry them into the new museum at Colorado Blvd. and Orange Grove.


 The forklift was provided by Mifran Boman Forklift, the company owned and operated by the Los Angeles art patron, Stanley Grinstein. 

(Thanks to Susan Morgan for archival research.) 

Phot courtesy Los Angeles Times.