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Richard Serra Wins Art Prize Awarded by Heir to Spanish Throne

Artist Richard Serra
Artist Richard Serra answers questions during a press preview of "Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years" at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tuesday, May 29, 2007. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg News

The U.S. sculptor Richard Serra won the 2010 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, an annual prize conferred by the heir to the Spanish throne.

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.

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