Carl Andre: matter matters

While the American artist has been out of the public eye for many years, Andre's work is very much in our sights
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Carl Andre, Silver Ribbon (2002), Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK

1 / 18 Carl Andre, Silver Ribbon (2002), Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK

Carl Andre, AlLomoCU (2000), Swiss-Re, Zürich, Switzerland

2 / 18 Carl Andre, AlLomoCU (2000), Swiss-Re, Zürich, Switzerland

Carl Andre, 37th Piece of Work (1970), Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

3 / 18 Carl Andre, 37th Piece of Work (1970), Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

Poster for exhibition at Wide White Space Gallery (1968), Antwerp, Belgium

4 / 18 Poster for exhibition at Wide White Space Gallery (1968), Antwerp, Belgium

5 / 18

Carl Andre, Dutch Poem (1967) and American Drill (1963)

6 / 18 Carl Andre, Dutch Poem (1967) and American Drill (1963)

7 / 18

Carl Andre, Copper Ribbon (1969), Antwerp, Belgium

8 / 18 Carl Andre, Copper Ribbon (1969), Antwerp, Belgium

Carl Andre, 20 Rubber Slither (2000), New York, USA

9 / 18 Carl Andre, 20 Rubber Slither (2000), New York, USA

Carl Andre, Still Blue Range (1989), Brussels, Belgium

10 / 18 Carl Andre, Still Blue Range (1989), Brussels, Belgium

Carl Andre, Essay on Sculpture for E.C. Goossen (1964) and Conquest Display (1965)

11 / 18 Carl Andre, Essay on Sculpture for E.C. Goossen (1964) and Conquest Display (1965)

Carl Andre, Installation of Glärnish Star and Urn (2001), Galerie Tschudi, Galrus, Switzerland

12 / 18 Carl Andre, Installation of Glärnish Star and Urn (2001), Galerie Tschudi, Galrus, Switzerland

Carl Andre, Uncarved Blocks (1975), Vancouver, Canada

13 / 18 Carl Andre, Uncarved Blocks (1975), Vancouver, Canada

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Carl Andre, Spill (1966), New York, USA

15 / 18 Carl Andre, Spill (1966), New York, USA

Carl Andre, Albarada (2002), New York, USA

16 / 18 Carl Andre, Albarada (2002), New York, USA

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Carl Andre, Chinati Thirteener (2010), Chinati Foundation, Marfa, USA

18 / 18 Carl Andre, Chinati Thirteener (2010), Chinati Foundation, Marfa, USA


The American minimalist artist Carl Andre is perhaps best known for his sculptures made from square metal plates, placed in grid-like formations, lying flat on the surface of the ground such as in Mars (1981). Yet over the course of five decades Andre’s output has been immense - encompassing large, outdoor artworks; ephemeral installations; scavenged objects; precisely formed precious metals; photography; and a significant body of poetry. 

At the heart of Andre’s vision lies a commitment to seeing things as elements: as separable self-contained units. His most significant contribution was to distance the medium of sculpture from processes of carving, modelling or constructing such as in Uncarved Blocks (1975) simply by sorting and positioning.

First entering the public eye in the mid 1960s with a series of works so profoundly simple in their form and arrangement, Andre's work continues to help redefine sculpture for a whole new generation of artists.


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