Early Richard Serra Sculpture at Risk from Real Estate Development

11/30/2009 11:26 AM |

Richard Serra Shift

In Saturday’s Globe and Mail, James Adams writes that a very early public sculpture and land art installation by Richard Serra, “Shift” (1970-72, pictured), might not make it to its 40th anniversary. Today councilors in King Township 35 miles north of Toronto, where the sculpture sits in an empty field, will vote on whether the piece should be designated a “cultural landscape” (ie. a place that merits preservation), or the developer who owns the land should be allowed to do as they please—meaning, most likely, a housing development.

The cement sculpture has been at the center of a five-year argument between preservationists and developers over the ideal use of the land. The piece is looking a little worse for wear and is rarely visited because, you know, it’s in the middle of nowhere, but also because Hickory Hills Investments, the group that owns the land, does its best to restrict access to the work despite its obvious potential to be a major attraction for the region. So, if for some reason you’re near Toronto right now or anytime in the near future, head up towards King City and check out Serra’s “Shift” before it’s gone.

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