Known for his large-scale sheet-metal sculptures, Richard Serra will be the first artist to receive the President's Medal from the Architectural League of New York. As the highest honor from the League, the Medal is presented by the organization's president and Board of Directors to an individual in recognition of a significant body of work in architecture, design, urbanism, or art.
Serra will formally receive the medal on May 6 during a dinner at the Metropolitan Club in New York. Emily Rauh Pulitzer (early Serra patron and Founder and Chairman of The Pulitzer Foundation) as well as architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi (designers of Seattleʼs Olympic Sculpture Park that features the major Serra work Wake) will be present at the event to give brief remarks on Serra and his work.
Here's more detail from the Architectural League:
"In presenting this award, the League honors Richard Serra for contributions his work makes to the way we think about space, viewer and object, site, and materiality, concerns relevant to both architects and the artist.
Since its founding in 1881, The Architectural League has frequently explored architecture in the context of its allied disciplines – art, engineering, landscape, graphic design, photography, theory, and others – and by its charter has eight vice presidents representing such fields.
In honor of this tradition, at its centennial in 1981 the League organized an exhibition and book, Collaborations, 'that would focus attention on the history of the collaboration among architects and other artists,' in the words of then-League President Jonathan Barnett. Among the work commissioned, as part of the Collaborations project, was Connections by the artist and architect pair of Richard Serra and Frank Gehry."
Recent recipients of the President’s Medal include Renzo Piano, Amanda Burden, Massimo and Lella Vignelli, Hugh Hardy, Richard Meier, Ada Louise Huxtable, Robert A.M. Stern, Kenneth Frampton, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.