Richard Serra's Big Show

Size does matter for the artist, who has a retrospective at the MoMA opening this week

Frederick Charles for TIME

American sculptor, Richard Serra inside his piece Sequence in one of the second-floor galleries of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on May, 16, 2007.

Correction Appended: May 25, 2007

Hanging a new museum show is never less than a complicated job. Getting all that art positioned just so--it's a test of nerves. But when the show is for Richard Serra, whose typical work is made from coiling steel plates that weigh 20 tons or so, complicated doesn't begin to describe it. Putting the things in place is like moving a dozen rockets to their launch pads. There's one sizable new Serra, called Sequence, that consists of 12 plates weighing a total of 243 tons. The average commercial airliner weighs 199.

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