Richard Serra obituary : The Picture Show American artist Richard Serra died this week at the age of 85. Serra was world-renowned for his large-scale metal sculptures.

Photos: Remembering Richard Serra, a world-renowned 'poet' of metals

Photos: Remembering Richard Serra, a world-renowned 'poet' of metals

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Visitors look at the artwork "The Matter of Time" by US artist Richard Serra during the presentation of the "25 Years of the Museum Collection" exhibition on the 25th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in the Spanish Basque city of Bilbao on Oct. 18, 2022. Ander Gillenea/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Ander Gillenea/AFP via Getty Images

Visitors look at the artwork "The Matter of Time" by US artist Richard Serra during the presentation of the "25 Years of the Museum Collection" exhibition on the 25th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in the Spanish Basque city of Bilbao on Oct. 18, 2022.

Ander Gillenea/AFP via Getty Images

Artist Richard Serra, who died Tuesday at 85 at his home on Long Island, was known for his monumental metal sculptures.

"I don't think there are any other artists who worked with the level of ambition, exactness and vision to create something on such a magnificent scale that changes human experience," said Sarah Roberts, head of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

US sculptor Richard Serra poses beside one of his five massive steel sculptures or walls of steel, each piece weighing 75 tonnes, on May 04, 2008 in Paris, two day before the opening of his exhibition within the framework of Monumenta exhibition 2008 in the Grand Palais. Oliver Laban-Mattei/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Oliver Laban-Mattei/AFP via Getty Images

US sculptor Richard Serra poses beside one of his five massive steel sculptures or walls of steel, each piece weighing 75 tonnes, on May 04, 2008 in Paris, two day before the opening of his exhibition within the framework of Monumenta exhibition 2008 in the Grand Palais.

Oliver Laban-Mattei/AFP via Getty Images

Serra was born in 1938 in San Francisco. The son of a shipyard pipe-fitter, he grew up watching vast steel tankers come and go. As a young man he worked in local steel mills to pay for college in California, and went on to study fine art at Yale. He moved to New York in the mid-1960s, where he began making art from industrial materials, especially metal. "I started as a kid in the steel mills," the artist told NPR in 1986. "And in some sense I've never left."

This picture taken on Nov. 19, 2021 shows the "East-West/West-East" sculpture by American artist Richard Serra, in Qatar's Brouq nature reserve, one hour drive west of the capital. The work is composed of four steel plates, each over fourteen metres in height, in the middle of the desert. Ammar Abd Rabbo/Qatar Museums/AFP via Getty Imag hide caption

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Ammar Abd Rabbo/Qatar Museums/AFP via Getty Imag

This picture taken on Nov. 19, 2021 shows the "East-West/West-East" sculpture by American artist Richard Serra, in Qatar's Brouq nature reserve, one hour drive west of the capital. The work is composed of four steel plates, each over fourteen metres in height, in the middle of the desert.

Ammar Abd Rabbo/Qatar Museums/AFP via Getty Imag

May 8, 2018 the Sculpture "Contour" by the artist Richard Serra in the exterior of the Glenstone Museum. Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/picture alliance via Getty Image hide caption

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Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/picture alliance via Getty Image

May 8, 2018 the Sculpture "Contour" by the artist Richard Serra in the exterior of the Glenstone Museum.

Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/picture alliance via Getty Image

Visitors to the Museum of Modern Art view Richard Serra"u2019s 320-ton sculpture called Equal in New York City on March 7, 2020. The sculpture is composed of four pairs of forged steel blocks, stacked and arranged in a square. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images hide caption

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Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Visitors to the Museum of Modern Art view Richard Serra"u2019s 320-ton sculpture called Equal in New York City on March 7, 2020. The sculpture is composed of four pairs of forged steel blocks, stacked and arranged in a square.

Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

American sculptor Richard Serra's "Slat", a 1984 steel sculpture, is seen after its reinstallation in La Defense, west of Paris, Monday, Dec. 15, 2008. Jacques Brinon/AP hide caption

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Jacques Brinon/AP

American sculptor Richard Serra's "Slat", a 1984 steel sculpture, is seen after its reinstallation in La Defense, west of Paris, Monday, Dec. 15, 2008.

Jacques Brinon/AP

Richard Serra's 'Twain' sculpture stands in Serra Sculpture Park in St. Louis, Missouri on Aug. 10, 2017. Raymond Boyd/Getty Images hide caption

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Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Richard Serra's 'Twain' sculpture stands in Serra Sculpture Park in St. Louis, Missouri on Aug. 10, 2017.

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Members of the press walk through the sculpture titled "Intersection II" by Richard Serra during the press preview May 29, 2007 at the Museum of Modern Art, "Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years". Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Members of the press walk through the sculpture titled "Intersection II" by Richard Serra during the press preview May 29, 2007 at the Museum of Modern Art, "Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years".

Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Richard Serra stands by his latest work at the Menil Collection, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in Houston. The art show, Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective, is the Menil Collection's landmark exhibit. Nick de la Torre /Houston Chronicle via Getty Imag hide caption

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Nick de la Torre /Houston Chronicle via Getty Imag

Richard Serra stands by his latest work at the Menil Collection, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in Houston. The art show, Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective, is the Menil Collection's landmark exhibit.

Nick de la Torre /Houston Chronicle via Getty Imag