What properties in materials do you identify with? Why do you continue to use the same materials? What is it that changes in your work from piece to piece? My formulation for sculpture (form-structure-place) left out my main concern: matter.1
Sadie Coles HQ is delighted to present the gallery’s second show with the American artist Carl Andre. The show will feature sonnets from 1963 and new sculptures made from graphite bricks.
Through his sculptures Andre has sought to renegotiate conventions of display, forcing a dialogue between the object and its surroundings. The sculptural form is no longer an end in itself, but rather the residue of an intervention into space. Brancusi’s Endless Column (1938) has often been cited as a point of reference – a reference sustained by Andre’s own comment: ‘My idea of a piece of sculpture is a road. That is, a road doesn’t reveal itself at any particular point or from any particular point’.2 The materials themselves used in their elemental, unadulterated form are somehow redefined through their sculptural possibilities. And within his poetry Andre carries out a similar reassessment. Just as the hierarchy between form and space is overthrown in his sculpture and the essential tools are reconsidered, the supremacy of language or linguistic meaning is undermined and the visual form of the poem assumes an equal standing.
Carl Andre lives and works in New York. His work has been included in group shows all over the world and he has had many solo shows, including retrospectives at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1970), Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, Texas (1978), Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1987), Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1996) and Musée Cantini, Marseilles (1997).
1 Taken from a series of questions submitted in writing to Carl Andre by Jack Risley and John Zinsser in April/May 1990 published in the Journal of Contemporary Art.
2 Carl Andre in Phyllis Tuchman, ‘Interview with Carl Andre’, p.49 in Carl Andre, Sculptor 1996 (Krefelder Kunstmuseen and Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Oktagon Verlag, Cologne, 1996)