As far as Richard Serra was concerned, art was nothing. It Satisfied Every Need.  

When Richard Serra died yesterday, I remembered a morning in the Metropolitan Museum of Art with him and his wife, German-born art historian Clara Weyergraf, viewing Jackson Pollock's 1950 splash and drip work “Autumn Rhythm.”

We planned to meet when the museum opened, when the exhibit at the Met's far end would be empty.

 Serra examined the painting like a caged animal, pacing back and forth, going away to see it whole, then returning to investigate details.

He stated, “We evaluate artists by how much they can rid themselves of convention, to change history.

The bottom line for Serra was pushing sculpture into new terrain. Artists—why else? These were his thoughts. Old-school. The Old Testament. Art or nothing for him.

Many American artists of his period, the child of postwar American might and arrogance like Pollock, shared his views.

However, few artists achieved what he did, changing popular perception of his work.

Many people are still confused and perhaps galled by Pollock, just as they were by Serra for years. We visited the Met while “Tilted Arc,” Serra's massive steel sculpture, was still healing. 

How accurate are the James Webb Space Telescope’s color renditions? 

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