Shift (1970)

Shift is a large outdoor sculpture by American artist Richard Serra, located in King City, Ontario, Canada about 50 kilometers north of Toronto. The work was commissioned in 1970 by art collector Roger Davidson and installed on his family property. Shift consists of six large concrete forms, each 20 centimeters thick and 1.5 meters high, zigzagging over about four hectares of rolling countryside.

What I wanted was a dialectic between one’s perception of the place in totality and one’s relation to the field as walked. The result is a way of measuring oneself against the indeterminacy of the land. As one follows the work farther into the field, one is forced to shift and turn with the work and look back across the elevational drop. From the top of the hill, looking back across he valley, images and thoughts are remembered which were initiated by the consciousness of having experienced them.

Serra discussed Shift in Art in America, 1973.

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