A new tall, dark and handsome figure has set up roots in Qatar: 7, a 78-foot structure designed by Richard Serra, the “giant of modern art.”
The artwork was unveiled last night in front of Qatar’s Emir and other dignitaries at the inauguration of a 62-acre park outside of the Museum of Islamic Art.
The park was originally slated to open to the public before National Day, but that date has been pushed back to Jan. 6, 2012, a spokesman said.
Serra, whose work is also featured in the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum, explains the creative process behind 7, his first public piece in the Middle East and tallest structure to date:
“It is my understanding that there are many references in the Qur’an to the number 7. The number 7 is also central to an important discovery by the great 10th-century Persian mathematician and astronomer Abu Sahl al-Quhi. Archimedes had introduced the concept of a regular heptagon into geometry but it had remained unexplored for centuries. It was Abu Sahl who proved that a regular heptagon could be constructed into a form.”
Gulf Times reports:
Asked about the patches of rust already forming on the sculpture he explained, ‘It will rust for eight years, and the colour will gradually change from orange to a darker orange until it is a uniform dark shade. The process will then stop as the oxygenisation process will be complete.’
He believed, he said, that art is universal. ‘Children will run through this piece and they won’t care if it is Islamic or western art. IM Pei does not see his work as either Chinese or American and neither do we – my work is intended for everyone; it’s international.’
Images courtesy of QMA’s Facebook page.