Richard Serra: Verbs - An exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago

Filament conceived this exploratory project to imagine an exhibition identity of the sculptural work of New York based artist Richard Serra at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Richard Serra

Famous for his large scale metal sculptures, Richard Serra's work focuses on an immersive experience for the viewer. The curvelinear sheets of cast metal create maze-like structures for viewers to walk into and around. Serra's emphasis on manipulation of space and raw, unruly materials ties back to his history as a Process Artist. 

Richard Serra

Richard Serra

An example of one of Serra's sculptures

An example of one of Serra's sculptures


List of verbs

Serra created his famous, “List of Verbs,” as a young artist, and this list has been absorbed as an iconic contribution into the tradition of modern art. The list contains different actions describing how an artist can manipulate his or her materials ""to roll, to crease, to fold, etc."  Serra intended for this list to serve as a brainstorming tool when he was uninspired in his artistic process. This list of verbs serves as the theme of the exhibition.

Richard Serra’s list of verbs

Richard Serra’s list of verbs


Environmental Graphics

The Art Institute of Chicago uses banners on lamp posts throughout downtown to promote its exhibitions. This design uses the list of verbs, allowing it to run off the edges of the righthand banner giving the impression of an unending list. 


Museum column banners

Like many museums, the Art Institute utilizes its classically influenced architecture to highlight current exhibitions with banners that are hung between the columns. For this design, three panels of verbs welcome visitors from Michigan Avenue.


Subway advertisements

These advertisements appear in CTA subway stations to publicize the exhibition to Chicago commuters. The design features three panels, each with a photo of a Serra piece and a verb spelled out over it. Each verb corresponds to an image of a relevant Serra sculpture. 


Bus wrap

For this design, the verb "to wrap" is applied to a bus wrap advertisement. 


Website homepage

Richard Serra: Verbs will appear on a carrousel on the museum's home page highlighting the current exhibitions.


Member’s Magazine

Members at the Art Institute receive the museum's magazine which highlights current exhibitions and relevant news.