Floral Transformation: See How Richard Serra’s Sculptures Inspired a Bouquet

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Floral Transformation: See How Richard Serra’s Sculptures Inspired a Bouquet

WHEN I SELECT less-than-obvious art as inspiration for my monthly arrangement, I view it as a teacher who will guide me to step outside floral-design norms. For February, that tutor was the work of American minimalist sculptor Richard Serra (b. 1938). His roughly 13-foot-high steel forms called “Torqued Ellipses I, II” (1996) and “Double Torqued Ellipse” (1997) fill a gallery at DIA:Beacon, in Beacon, N.Y., so architecturally the building seems superfluous. As I strolled through the maze of massive curved structures, I was humbled by their scale, texture, color and even the smell of the steel as it heats in the sun that rakes across the room. Richard Serra, installation view at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries. Photo: © Richard Serra/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Bill Jacobson Back home, I found an echo of the steel’s monumentality in a bulbous vase glazed blackish brown by Australian ceramic artist Alana Wilson, and, as a nod to the serial sculptures, paired it with a simpatico flea-market find. The flower market and my garden’s remains yielded the bronze, copper, orange and bluish tones in Mr. Serra’s work. Cut short and massed, viburnum’s blue berries on bronzy stems spilled over the Wilson vase’s rim, so vessel and berries became one. Ninebark, with its rich fall tones, went in the other vase, along with the silver-gray foliage of protea lanceolate and its russet seed heads. I arranged the hues of the twin bouquets in a tight ombre spectrum, an unusual move my “teacher” suggested. More in Design & Decorating