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Richard Serra's Paris Promenade
by Cécile Bourne-Farrell

Last spring, Monumenta transformed the historic Grand Palais in Paris for the second time, inviting Richard Serra to engage with the cavernous 145,000-square-foot volume that defines Henri Deglane’s 19th-century glass cathedral. By sponsoring these high-profile, site-specific interventions by contemporary artists (Anselm Kiefer was the first), the French government has restored the viability, public function, and audience for this emblematic space, which was conceived as an anchor in the alignment of the western part of the city center. Considering the Grand Palais’s strategic position in the plan of Paris, it is no coincidence that Serra chose to work with an axis that relates to this magnificent architectural statement of steel and light.

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