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July 16, 2012


Filed under: carl andre — Tags: — admin @ 3:07 pm

I have always been fascinated with this type of art.  Where the artist uses materials found in everyday life, or a certain place, and then brings them into a space and alters the space with these objects, therefore -re-creatignt he space and therby making the art piece.

It is  a bit existential in theory i do believe, but I have always admired it.  i do hope you enjoy learning about this!

Have a great day!




Carl Andre was one of the founders of the art movement known as Minimal, Systemic, or ABC Art. It is an art that seeks to eliminate everything decorative,

extraneous and additive, reducing all components to art’s purest elements; it is precise, cerebral and austere rather than accessible. Andre once said that what

was beautiful in art was “not that someone is original but that he can find a way of creating in the world the instance of his temperament.” His own temperament

is close to the tranquil philosophy of Taoism, and many critics refer to his work as “pacific.” 

He reveals little about himself.

As Minimalism attracted critical attention, he began exhibiting in the city.

For his one-man exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, the artist set out eight

rectangular sculptures deployed on the gallery floor, each made of 120 bricks. “One hundred twenty is the number richest in
factors,” Andre explained,

“Arithmetic is only the scaffolding or armature of my work.” Equivalent VIII, one of the eight works, was made two bricks high, six across, and ten lengthwise

(technically and sometimes referred to as “2 high x 6 header x 10 stretcher”). The titles supposedly were derived from Alfred Stieglitz’s series of photographs of

clouds made in the 1920s and 1930s, called Equivalents. 

 The sculptor’s works have nothing to do with clouds, but in mathematical theory the Equivalence Relation has to do with the relation of sameness between elements, while in physics, the Principle of Equivalence demonstrates the distinction between inertial and gravitational forces
– the sort of disciplines that concern Andre.

  Placement, environment, and relativity  are important in all of this artist’s works. “A place is an area within an environment which has been altered in such a way as to make the general environment more conspicuous,” he said. “Everything is an environment, but a place is related particularly to both the general qualities of the environment and the particular qualities of the work which has been done.” The bricks in Equivalent VIII are humble materials, basic to building, construction, and manufacture; by treating these cubic, natural -units as sculpture, we begin to view the work’s physical reality as an 
esthetic phenomenon. And since placement generates and energizes the piece, Equivalent VIII and its surrounding environment become one work of art.

Carl Andre invariably works within a strict self-imposed modular system, using commercially available materials or objects, almost always in identical units or bar forms,


as timber, Styrofoam, cement blocks, bales of hay, etc., with only one type of material per work. He considers the setting or placement an essential part of the work,

and the form

of each piece is largely determined by the space for which it is constructed. “I don’t think spaces are that singular, I think there are generic classes of spaces.

So it’s not really a problem where a work is going to be in particular. It’s only a problem, in general, of the generic spaces: is it going to be the size of Grand Central Station

or is it going to be the size of a small room?” 


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