During the 1960s and 1970s, Carl Andre produced a number of sculptures which are now counted as among the most innovative of his generation. Along with figures such as Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Dan Flavin, Eva Hesse and Robert Morris, Andre played a central role in defining the nature of Minimal Art. His most significant contribution was to distance sculpture from processes of carving, modelling, or constructing, and to make works that simply involved sorting and placing. Before him, few had imagined that sculpture could consist of ordinary, factory-finished raw materials, arranged into straightforward configurations and set directly on the ground.
Andre nearly always works in a grid, with the dimensions of his finished works determined by multiples of a basic module – such as a brick, metal plate or house beam. The shape of each work depends entirely on the number and configuration of modules. The works are often laid out on the floor like carpet and can in fact be walked on. Although not site-specific, the works emphasise and respond to the planes of the space they occupy. While the minimalist use of industrial materials on a grand scale is often regarded as overtly masculine and assertive, Andre’s work, in contrast, is modest and quietly poetic.
37 units: 1.0 x 30.0 x 30.0 cm each; 1.0 x 570.0 x 570.0 cm overall installed
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l. Certificate of authenticity, black ink ".../ 1981/ @ [artist's monagram] carl andre".
Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural
Not on display
© Carl Andre. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Carl andre: new sculpture, Anthony d'Offay Gallery, England, 28 Jan 1981–05 Mar 1981
Carl Andre, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Hague, 11 Jan 1987–01 Mar 1987
From Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Jeff Koons: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, 12 Dec 1995–17 Mar 1996
Less is more: Minimal and Post-Minimal art in Australia, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 03 Aug 2012–04 Nov 2012
Primary structures and speculative forms, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Oct 2016–27 Aug 2017
Referenced in 4 publications
Anthony Bond, John Kaldor family collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The minimal edge, Frank Stella, Carl Andre, Donald Judd', pg.78-99, Sydney, 2011, 81 (colour illus.), 94-95 (colour illus.). illustration on page 81 is a detail
Less is more: minimal + post-minimal art in Australia, Bulleen, 2012, 8-9 (colour illus.).
Carl Andre, The Hague, 1987, 138. cat.no.12