Since the middle of the 1960s, the works of Carl Andre have helped to expand our concept of sculpture. Andre stacks or lines up individual structural elements on the floors of exhibition spaces to form self-contained geometric formats. In addition to an array of industrially processed materials such as aluminum, zinc, iron, copper and concrete, Andre also makes use of natural materials such as wood and stone. Whatever material Andre uses, however, it always remains apparent and is not processed any more than is absolutely necessary. Beyond this, Andre‘s works are guided by a concept of symmetry that spurns any notion of a hierarchical order. Indeed, his works show no discernible beginnings or ends and each of their elements can essentially be exchanged for any other. While the works appear at first glance to refer only to themselves, they simultaneously draw attention to the space that they occupy and the space that they do not occupy, with the occupied and unoccupied space exhibiting a balanced relationship. Andre’s sculptures thereby display the space that surrounds them and interact with this space, i.e. their architectonic frameworks, to form unique locations that require the active participation of the viewer in the room. These locations become an object of experience thanks both to our capacity to see and the range of our physical presence in the room with the works. Indeed, it is in movement that we begin to grasp the materials, the structural forms, and the presence that these generate and that makes these works so distinctive.
Born in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1935, Carl Andre lives and works in New York.