Carl Andre

Carl Andre
Born (1935-09-16) September 16, 1935 (age 85)
Nationality American
Education Phillips Academy
Known for Sculpture
Movement Minimalism
Spouse(s) Ana Mendieta (m.1985)
sculpture '43 Roaring forty' by Carl Andre at Kröller-Müller Museum, 1968. Netherlands

Carl Andre (born September 16, 1935) is an American minimalist artist recognized for his ordered linear and grid format sculptures. His sculptures range from large public artworks [such as Stone Field Sculpture, 1977 in Hartford, Connecticut[1] and Lament for the Children, 1976[2] in Long Island City, New York], to large interior works exhibited on the floor [such as 144 Magnesium Square, 1969[3]],to small intimate works [such as Satier: Zinc on Steel, 1989 (shown below) and 7 Alnico Pole, 2011[4]].

Early life

Andre was born September 16, 1935 in Quincy, Massachusetts. He completed primary and secondary schooling in the Quincy public school system and studied art at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts from 1951 to 1953.[5] While at Phillips Academy he became friends with Hollis Frampton who would later influence Andre's radical approach to sculpture through their conversations about art[6] and through introductions to other artists.[7]

Andre served in the U.S. Army in North Carolina 1955–56 and moved to New York City in 1956. While in New York, Frampton introduced Andre to Constantin Brâncuși through whom Andre became re-acquainted with a former classmate from Phillips Academy, Frank Stella, in 1958. Andre shared studio space with Stella from 1958 through 1960.[7]

Work

Andre’s sculptures are often assembled using common industrial materials, which he arranges into a simple geometric pattern. His sculptures are always placed on the floor rather than on plinths. Not simply objects to look at, they become part of the environment, altering the viewer’s relationship to the surrounding space.[8]

Early Work

Carl Andre, 144 Magnesium Square, 1969, 144 thin magnesium plates, each measuring 12 by 12 inches, 144 x 144 inches

Andre has cited Brâncuși as inspiration for his early wood sculptures[9], but his conversations with Stella about space and form led him in a different direction. While sharing a studio with Stella, Andre developed a series of wooden "cut" sculptures[6] (such as Radial Arm Saw cut sculpture, 1959, and Maple Spindle Exercise, 1959). Stella is noted as having said to Andre (regarding hunks of wood removed from Andre's sculpture) "Carl, that's sculpture, too."[10]

From 1960 to 1964 Andre worked as freight brakeman and conductor in New Jersey for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The experience with blue collar labor and the ordered nature of conducting freight trains would have a later influence on Andre's sculpture and artistic personality. For example, it was not uncommon for Andre to dress in overalls and a blue work shirt, even to the most formal occasions."[5]

During this period, Andre focused mainly on writing and there is little notable sculpture on record between 1960 and 1965. The poetry would resurface later, most notably in a book (finally published in 1980 by NYU press) called 12 Dialogues in which Andre and Hollis Frampton took turns responding to one another at a typewriter using mainly poetry and free-form essay-like texts.[6] Andre's concrete poetry has exhibited in the United States and Europe, a comprehensive collection of which is in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.[11]

Mature work

Carl Andre, Satier: Zinc on Steel, 1989, Zinc and steel, in two parts, 0.44 x 6 x 11.44 in

In 1965 he had his first public exhibition of work in the Shape and Structure show curated by Henry Geldzahler at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery.[12]

Andre's controversial Lever was included in the seminal 1966 show at the Jewish Museum in New York entitled Primary Structures.

In the late 1960s, the entrepreneur Karl Ströher from Darmstadt / Germany (Wella) acquired three major works from Andre ato give them on loan to the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt.[13] Peter Iden then acquired these works for the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt[14] in 1981.[15] The works have since been shown in various "Change of Scene"[16] exhibitions (1992-2002) at the museum in Frankfurt[17] and internationally.[18]

In 1969 Andre helped organize the Art Workers Coalition.

In 1970 he had a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Equivalent VIII

In 1972, Britain's Tate Gallery acquired Andre's Equivalent VIII, an arrangement 120 of firebricks.

Each of Andre’s eight sculptures in the Equivalent series consists of a rectangular arrangement of 120 firebricks. Although the shape of each sculpture is different, they all have the same height, mass and volume, and are therefore ‘equivalent’ to each other.[8]

The piece was exhibited several times without incident, but became the center of controversy in 1976 after being featured in an article in The Sunday Times and later being defaced with blue food dye. The "Bricks controversy" became one of the most famous public debates in Britain about contemporary art.[19][20]

Lever

Carl Andre's 'Lever' was one of the most audacious entries in the groundbreaking exhibition 1966 Primary Structures exhibition at New York’s Jewish Museum that introduced the public to minimalism.[21] ‘Lever’ consists simply of a single line of 137 firebricks.[22] The work concisely divides a space as the bricks hug the floor.[23] ‘Lever’ projects out from the wall and straight across the floor and was likened by Andre to a fallen column.[21]

The exhibiting of ‘Lever’ at “Primary Structures” brought recognition to Carl Andre.[24] 'Lever' startled gallery visitors, as it interrupted their movement and, in its simplicity, was annoying.[21] Made from easily available building materials ("anyone could do it: where was the art?"), Lever demanded respect from thoughtful viewers while undermining traditional artistic values.[21]

Criticism

The gradual evolution of consensus about the meaning of Carl Andre's art can be found in About Carl Andre: Critical Texts Since 1965, published by Ridinghouse in 2008. The most significant essays and exhibition reviews have been collated into one volume, including texts written by some of the most influential art historians and critics: Clement Greenberg, Donald Kuspit, Lucy R. Lippard, Robert C. Morgan, Barbara Rose and Roberta Smith.

Personal life

In 1979 Andre first met artist Ana Mendieta through a mutual friendship with artists Leon Golub and Nancy Spero at AIR Gallery in New York City.[5] Andre and Mendieta eventually married in 1985, but the relationship ended in tragedy.[25]

Ana Mendieta's death

In 1988, Andre was tried and acquitted in the death of his wife, artist Ana Mendieta.[26] Mendieta fell to her death from Andre's 34th story apartment window in 1985 after an argument with Andre.[27] There were no eyewitnesses. A doorman in the street below had heard a woman screaming "No, no, no, no," before Mendieta's body landed on the roof of a building below.[26] Andre had what appeared to be fresh scratches on his nose and forearm, and his story to the police differed from his recorded statements to the 911 operator an hour or so earlier. The police arrested him.[28]

Andre was charged with second degree murder. He elected to be tried before a judge with no jury. In 1988 Andre was acquitted of all charges related to Mendieta's death.[27] Andre remains a controversial figure, and museums who exhibit his work have been met with outrage from Mendieta's supporters. In 2017 protestors attended the opening of his exhibition at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles, distributing postcards that read “Carl Andre is at MOCA Geffen. ¿Dónde está Ana Mendieta?” (Spanish for "Where is Ana Mendieta?").[29][30][31]

Catalogue Raisonné

The Carl Andre Catalogue Raisonné of Sculptures is being created. The catalogue will include a comprehensive account of all sculptures made by Carl Andre over the past sixty years. Each of the approximately 2000 individual sculptures will be annotated with relevant scholarly information including the work’s title, place and date of origin, as well as technical data such as material, configuration and measurements. Historical and current provenances, exhibition history and a listing of selected publications will round out the profile of each work, showing the worldwide impact of Carl Andre’s sculptural oeuvre.

The Carl Andre Catalogue Raisonné, LLC, in New York has commissioned Dr. Eva Meyer-Hermann, an internationally renowned art historian based in Berlin, as General Editor of the Carl Andre Catalogue Raisonné of Sculptures. A scholar of Andre’s work for over 30 years, Meyer-Hermann will lead the project together with a team of researchers in the United States and Europe.

The Carl Andre Catalogue Raisonné of Sculptures will be published in two phases. The first phase will consist of a comprehensive book in two volumes, scheduled to come out in 2022. It will contain the most essential data for all sculptures and an encyclopedic account of key issues in the work of Carl Andre. In a second phase, the Carl Andre Catalogue Raisonné of Sculptures will be accessible in an online database, hosted by Artifex Press, New York.[32][33]

Artist books

Quincy, 1973. Artist book by Carl Andre which features commissioned photographs of landscapes and monuments in his hometown of Quincy, Massachusetts. Quincy was originally printed in conjunction with Andre's 1973 solo show at Addison Gallery, and reprinted by Primary Information in 2014.

America Drill, 2003, Les Maîtres de Forme Contemporains, mfc-michèle didier and Paula Cooper Gallery. Limited edition of 100 numbered, signed and stamped copies, 400 numbered copies and 100 artist's proofs.[34]

Carl Andre: The Complete Poems, April 2013, Tate Publishing, London and The Carl Andre and Melissa L. Kretschmer Foundation are working together to create a complete catalogue of the poems of Carl Andre. The publication will record and illustrate some 1,500 poems made by the artist between 1957 and 2000. Each work will be accompanied by detailed information about its origin, provenance, exhibition history, and a bibliography, in addition to extensive supporting material. [35]

Bibliography

  • About Carl Andre: Critical Texts Since 1965, 2008, published by Ridinghouse .
  • Busch, Julia M. (1974). A Decade of Sculpture: the New Media in the 1960s. London: Associated University Presses. ISBN 0-87982-007-1.
  • Lauter, Rolf: Carl Andre: Extraneous Roots. Museum für Moderne Kunst in the Monastery of the Carmelites, Frankfurt am Main 07.06.-14.07.1991. ISBN 3882704616
  • Lauter, Rolf; Christian K. Scheffel; Carl Andre: Blickachsen 4, Skulpturen im Kurpark Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe, Bad Homburg 18.05.-05.10.2003. ISBN 3926546417[36]
  • Christel Sauer: Carl Andre: Cuts, DE/EN, Basel 2011, ISBN 978-3-905777-10-9
  • Rider, Alistair. Carl Andre: Things in their Elements. London: Phaidon Press, 2011.

References

  1. ^ Hartford Advocate November 13, 1997 "Twenty Years After Stone Field Sculpture shook the Insurance City, Carl Andre Returns" by Patricia Rosoff [1]
  2. ^ "Lament for the Children by Carl Andre on artnet". www.artnet.com. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  3. ^ "144 Magnesium Square". tate.org.uk. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "Carl Andre". galeriacayon.com. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Naked by the Window, by Robert Katz published 1990 by The Atlantic Monthly Free Press ISBN 0-87113-354-7
  6. ^ a b c 12 Dialogues, Carl Andre and Hollis Frampton 1962–1963 published by Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Press and New York University Press, edited by Benjamin HD Buchloh ISBN 0-8147-0579-0
  7. ^ a b Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties, edited by James Meyer, published 2004 by Yale University Press ISBN 0-300-10590-8, ISBN 978-0-300-10590-2
  8. ^ a b "Carl Andre, Equivalent VIII". tate.org.uk. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  9. ^ Rose, Barbara (July 15, 2014). "The Nature of Carl Andre". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  10. ^ Naked by the Window, by Robert Katz, published 1990 by The Atlantic Monthly Free Press ISBN 0-87113-354-7
  11. ^ "Carl Andre". Stedelijk Museum. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  12. ^ "Oral history interview with Carl Andre, 1972 Sept". Research collections. Archives of American Art. 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  13. ^ Lauter, Rolf (ed.): Das Museum für Moderne Kunst und die Sammlung Ströher: zur Geschichte einer Privatsammlung; [eine Ausstellung des Museums für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt vom 5.12.1994-8.1.1995 in der Galerie Jahrhunderthalle Hoechst]. Frankfurt: Societaetsverlag Frankfurt. 1994. ISBN 3797305850.
  14. ^ Iden, Peter; Lauter, Rolf (ed.): Bilder für Frankfurt. Bestandskatalog des Museums für Moderne Kunst. München 1985. ISBN 978-3-7913-0702-2
  15. ^ "MMK Sammlung". MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt.
  16. ^ Bee, Andreas: Zehn Jahre Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Köln 2003, ISBN 3832156291
  17. ^ Lauter, Rolf : Carl Andre : extraneous roots, Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt at Monastery of the Carmelites, Frankfurt 1991, ISBN 3882704616
  18. ^ Iden, Peter, Lauter, Rolf: Dalla pop art americana alla nuova figurazione : opere del Museo d'arte moderna di Francoforte, Padiglione d'arte contemporanea, Milan, 1987 ISBN 9788820207632
  19. ^ John Walker. (1999). "Carl Andre's 'pile of bricks'- Tate Gallery acquisition controversy – 1976". Art & outrage/artdesigncafe. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  20. ^ "[ARCHIVED CONTENT] Archive Journeys: Tate History – People, The Public – Tate". Archived from the original on August 2, 2013.
  21. ^ a b c d Wolf, Justin (March 21, 2015). "Minimalism Movement Overview and Analysis". theartstory.org. The Art Story. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  22. ^ Belcove, Julie (January 25, 2013). "My work doesn't mean a damn thing". ft.com. The Financial Times. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  23. ^ "Carl Andre - Lever". gallery.ca. The National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  24. ^ Tompkins, Calvin (November 28, 2011). "The Materialist - Carl Andre's eminent obscurity". newyorker.com. The New Yorker. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  25. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (September 21, 2013). "Ana Mendieta: death of an artist foretold in blood". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  26. ^ a b "The History of New York Scandals - Carl Andre's Murder Trial". New York Magazine. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  27. ^ a b Sullivan, Ronald (February 12, 1988). "Greenwich Village Sculptor Acquitted of Pushing Wife to Her Death". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  28. ^ Patrick, Vincent (June 10, 1990). "A Death in the Art World". The New York Times. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  29. ^ Miranda, Carolina. "Why protesters at MOCA’s Carl Andre show won’t let the art world forget about Ana Mendieta", The Guardian, London, 27 October 2005. Retrieved on 20 August 2019.
  30. ^ "Actress Ellen Barkin Reveals She Was Assaulted by Carl Andre in the Late '70s". Hyperallergic. January 21, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  31. ^ "Why protesters at MOCA's Carl Andre show won't let the art world forget about Ana Mendieta". Los Angeles Times. April 6, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  32. ^ "Carl Andre Catalogue Raisonné of Sculptures". carlandre.net. CAMKFoundation. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  33. ^ "Call for Information: Carl Andre Sculpture Catalogue Raisonné". artifexpress.com. Artifex Press. October 23, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  34. ^ "America Drill (numbered)". www.micheledidier.com. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  35. ^ https://www.tate.org.uk/about-us/projects/carl-andre-complete-poems
  36. ^ "Werke | Blickachsen 4". www.blickachsen.de (in German). Retrieved February 7, 2020.

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