On view at The Paula Cooper Gallery in New York is an exhibition of major sculptures by Carl Andre from a period ranging over thirty years. The exhibition coincides with the artist’s retrospective at Dia:Beacon, which is the first survey of Carl Andre’s entire body of work by a museum in North America since 1980.
In 1960, Andre began creating sculptures using unaltered industrial materials. He worked with a variety of metals, woods, and other materials and arranged them in shapes within space. The exhibition emphasizes this period when Andre committed himself purely to simple geometric arrangements of preexisting materials. Andre shows more interest in the architectural space and creates works to be viewable on the ground, rather than the more traditional, vertically erected monuments. Ferox and Ninth Steel Corner depend on the corner of a room to complete their shape. Ferox embraces natural processes such as rusting and weathering – as Andre says: “I wanted to submit to the conditions of the world.”
In his Isohedron works, 24 bricks made from Scottish red sandstone, which he gathered from a quarry in southern Scotland, are arranged in logical patterns. Since the bricks were formed millions of years ago, they show lines of light as a result of the sedimentation process.
For Andre, the execution of his sculptures seems to merely provide an overture for the exploration of his materials, a simple arrangement of geometries intended to underline variations in grain, coloration, and even cracks or distortions on the wood, brick or steel. By simple arrangements, the pieces in turn become variations in landscape for the gallery itself. By prioritizing materials of construction in a non-specific context, Andre’s works are left suspended between a role in their alteration of the space around them (almost as architectural additions to the gallery), and a focus on the act/materials of construction themselves.
Carl Andre has been the subject of retrospectives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1970); the Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin (1978); the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1978); the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1987); the Haus Lange und Haus Esters, Krefeld (1996); the Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg (1996); and the Musée Cantini, Marseilles (1997). Andre was born in Massachussetts in 1935, attended Kenyon College in Ohio, and currently lives in New York.
The exhibition will continue at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York through July 25, 2014.
Exhibition Page [Paula Cooper Gallery]