richard serra: 7 sculpture at the museum of islamic art, doha
richard serra: 7 sculpture at the museum of islamic art, doha richard serra: 7 sculpture at the museum of islamic art, doha
dec 29, 2011

richard serra: 7 sculpture at the museum of islamic art, doha

‘7’ by richard serra image courtesy of qatar museums authority, via forbes




just unveiled in doha, the sculpture ‘7’ by american artist richard serra is situated on a man-made 250 foot projection of land surrounded by water, part of the sixty-two acre park outside qatar’s museum of islamic art. the 80 foot steel structure has already begun the process of oxidation as shades of orange dance across the surface of the sculpture. the monumental sculpture will eventually reach a uniform rusted shade. seven steel plates– each eight feet wide, four inches thick, and twenty-four meters high– are arranged to form three triangular openings into which the viewer may enter. when seen from inside the structure, the beams of steel seem to connect at the top in a heptagon.


the heptagonal shape of the sculpture celebrates the number seven, a digit which has had great scientific and spiritual significance in islam. ‘7’ is the tallest public art piece in qatar to date and is intended to be comprehended as a sculpture devoid of specific western or islamic ties, instead simply a highly accessible monumental piece for the international city to appreciate, while encouraging outward artistic expression in qatari culture.

image © abigail r. esman

a view of richard serra’s ‘7’ and the museum of islamic art courtesy of qatar museums authority, via art info



‘…there are many references in the qur’an to the number 7. the number 7 is also central to an important discovery by the great 10th-century persian mathematician and astronomer abu sahl al-quhi. archimedes had introduced the concept of a regular heptagon into geometry but it had remained unexplored for centuries. It was abu sahl who proved that a regular heptagon could be constructed into a form.’ – richard serra

image © abigail r. esman

image © abigail r. esman

image © abigail r. esman

image © abigail r. esman

via forbes

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