Things in Their Element
written by Alistair Rider
Phaidon Press | ISBN 9780714849225
Hardback – 272 pages
Member’s price: $89.96
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Carl Andre (born 1935), the American minimalist artist, is perhaps best known for his grid-based floor sculptures but also for large, outdoor public artworks and small sculptures, poetry and installations. Alistair Rider here shows that it is the materials that he uses to make his works that inspire him - from his controversial bricks to all sorts of metals, found wood, even hay bales, Andre is fascinated by what materials make up the world and presents them for contemplation.
Andre's early wood sculptures show the influence of Brancusi, who he had met through their mutual friend Hollis Frampton when a student in the early 1950s. Then towards the end of that decade he shared a studio with Frank Stella and their conversations led to rapid development in his work, when he began using a radial saw to shape his sculptures.
Between 1960 - 4 Andre worked as freight brakeman and conductor in New Jersey for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and focused mainly on writing, including his poems in the tradition of Concrete Poetry that makes visual use of the words on the page. His experiences working on the freight trains would have a later influence on Andre'