Serra, 70, uses industrial materials such as lead, steel and concrete to create minimalist, large-scale pieces, often weighing tens of tons and designed for specific sites.
The Prince of Asturias Foundation called Serra “one of the most relevant avant-garde sculptors” of modern times. In a statement announcing the award, it praised his “innovative vision of incorporating urban spaces in pieces of art that inspire people to reflect.”
Among Serra’s most spectacular works are “Clara-Clara,” which was on Paris’s Place de la Concorde, and “The Matter of Time” at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. His work is on display in museums from Iceland to New Zealand, according to the Gagosian Gallery, which represents him. New York’s Museum of Modern Art held a retrospective of Serra’s work in 2007.
The record auction price for a Serra sculpture was paid at Sotheby’s in New York in 2008, where “12-4-8,” a 1983 work consisting of three steel plates, sold for $1.65 million, according to the Artnet price database.