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Contemporary art

Western art

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Untitled (sculptural study, three-part construction)



Fred Sandback

United States of America

29 Aug 1943 - 23 Jun 2003


Fred Sandback was a major figure in American minimal and conceptual sculpture. After receiving a B. A in philosophy at Yale University, he studied sculpture at Yale School of Art and Architecture and began exhibiting his work in the late 1960s.

It was Sandback who most convincingly responded to a criticism from Rosalind Krauss that the theatricality of objects that require a human presence inevitably makes the work allusive to the figure and the fact that the objects altered from different points of view made them illusions. Allusion and illusion were the two critical elements that the Minimalists sought to exclude from their work. Sandback pointed out that the key to understanding the importance of anti allusion and illusion was that the sculpture is complete to itself and never points away from the object to any other object in the world. The fact that a viewer might be immersed in the space of the object or that as they move around the space different perspectives may be experienced is entirely to do with the thing itself and is not at all referential.




Media category


Materials used

black acrylic yarn


dimensions variable depending on ceiling height; panel width: 91.4 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Purchased with funds provided by the Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund and Penelope Seidler 2012


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Fred Sandback

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 1 publication


Jensen Gallery, E=mc²: Fred Sandback, Callum Innes, Günter Umberg, Sydney, 2011, 5 (illus.), 9 (illus.), 10-11 (colour illus.).