534 W 21st Street
NEW YORK—The Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to present a selection of major sculptures by Carl Andre produced over a thirty year period. The exhibit will be on view at 534 West 21st Street from May 30th until July 25th and will present works in steel, cedar and sandstone.
The exhibition highlights Andre’s commitment to pure matter in simple, often geometric arrangements. 1960 marked a decisive shift in the artist’s work, as he began producing sculptures of rigorous simplicity using unmanipulated elements often taken from the industrial world. He soon began working with a variety of metals, woods and other materials arranged in shapes that were determined by the units of matter themselves and their surrounding space.
Andre’s work departs from traditional sculpture principles of verticality and monumentality, and engages architectural space. Ferox and Ninth Steel Corner find their structure within the corner of the room. Made from industrial steel and expansive in its dimensions, Ferox shows natural weathering and rusting which Andre embraces as a natural effect of the material’s properties. He observed, “I wanted to submit to the conditions of the world, such that if the works […] rusted, then they would rust.”
The Isohedra series, created in situ for Inverleith House in Edinburgh, consists of blocks of Scottish red sandstone, quarried in southern Scotland. The exhibit features examples from the twelve sculptures originally shown. In each Isohedron, Andre arranges 24 bricks in logical permutations. Despite the standardized parts, each brick shows light striations of sedimentation from when the sandstone was formed millions of years ago.
Using pre-cut columns of western red cedar wood as his building blocks, Andre combines tight, rectangular units reminiscent of the timber railway sleepers that he saw while working as a conductor for the Pennsylvania Railroad. “The railway completely tore me away from the pretensions of art, even my own, and I was back on the horizontal lines of steel and rust and great masses of coal and material, timber, with all kinds of hides and glue and the burdens and weights of the cars themselves.” Andre’s purity of form continues to challenge notions of sculpture.
The exhibition coincides with Andre’s retrospective at Dia:Beacon, the first survey of Carl Andre’s entire oeuvre by a museum, and the first retrospective in North America since 1978-80. The exhibit features works from renowned collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Canada, Dallas Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Tate, Addison Gallery of American Art, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Andre has been the subject of several retrospectives, most notably at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1970; the Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, Texas, in 1978; the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, in 1978; the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, in 1987; the Haus Lange und Haus Esters, Krefeld and the Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg, in 1996; and the Musée Cantini, Marseilles, in 1997. He lives in New York.