Paula Cooper Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of new works by Carl Andre. The exhibition will run from October 27 through December 15, 2007 and will present works in pine, cedar, copper and aluminum.
The pieces in the exhibition bring to light key issues in Andre’s sculptural work. Composed of juxtaposed identical elements that are neither hinged nor welded, the works engage the architecture of the gallery, activating the corners of the exhibition spaces or lines in the concrete floor. They are based on the square expression of numbers between two and nine, each piece presenting a particular combination of scale and material.
Since the 1960s, Andre has created sculpture that tends to depart from the traditional principles of verticality and monumentality. His works are usually composed of standardized, identical elements that are either juxtaposed in geometric patterns or randomly scattered over the floor. Rejecting relational or anthropomorphic sculpture, Andre draws attention instead to the material and spatial specificity of the sculptural object.
Andre started his career as a sculptor working with wood. In 1958-1959, he was carving wood timbers using a chisel or saw to create abstract pieces with geometric, often symmetrical patterns. These early works recalled both the verticality and symmetry of Brancusi’s sculptures and the rigorous logic of the paintings of Frank Stella, whose studio Andre was sharing at the time. In 1960, Andre started his Elements series, using identical timbers of equal size in various configurations. This series marks the moment when Andre definitively abandoned the manipulation of materials. He progressively moved on to materials such as granite, limestone, steel, lead and copper.
Andre’s first one-person show was held in 1965 at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, and the following year his work was included in Kynaston McShine’s and Lucy Lippard’s seminal exhibition “Primary Structures” at the Jewish Museum. He was, with Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt, one of the leading artists of the 1960s, often associated with Minimalism. In the 1970s, the artist created large installations, such as 144 Blocks and Stones (1973) for the Portland Center for the Visual Arts, Oregon, and outdoor works such as Stone Field Sculpture (1977) in downtown Hartford, Conn.
Andre’s work 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; the Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg, in 1996; and the Musée Cantini, Marseilles, in 1997. He lives in New York.