Space plays an elementary role in the works of the American artist Fred Sandback. This applies both to his sculptures, which are realized in specific architectonic surroundings, and his drawings and wall reliefs, which are by no means to be regarded as mere drafts or prototype sketches. A crucial role in all of the artist’s works is also played the line with its ambivalent capacity to present something and to represent something. The lines in these sculptures are made of simple acrylic yarns that are strung between the ceiling and the floor in a corner of the exhibition room or along a wall. In their dimensions, these works offer an immediate response to the prior parameters of the room. The room’s height, the width of its walls, the properties of the floor and even its special features such as windows and hallways are the basic conditions that make the Sandback’s sculpture possible, that is to say, make it an object of experience. With no apparent beginning or end, the lines rise up from the floor or disappear on a wall. With the help of these forms, which are at first glance astonishingly simple and yet at the same time highly complex, the architectonic space is transported into another realm and made visible in an unexpected way. The variously colored and variously thick suspended lines even create volume in interim spaces. While we experience them at the border between the visible and the invisible, they are never quite graspable.
Fred Sandback was born in Bronxville, New York (USA) in 1943 and died in New York in 2003.