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Artists Carl Andre
Carl Andre Photo

Carl Andre

American Sculptor

Movements and Styles: Minimalism, Conceptual Art

Born: September 16, 1935 - Quincy, Massachusetts

Carl Andre Timeline

Quotes

"Art is the exclusion of the unnecessary."
Carl Andre
"Settle for nothing less than concrete analysis of concrete situations leading to concrete actions."
Carl Andre
"My art will reflect not necessarily conscious politics but the unanalyzed politics of my life."
Carl Andre
"...art for art's sake is ridiculous. Art is for the sake of one's needs."
Carl Andre

"My art springs from my desire to have things in the world which would otherwise never be there."

Carl Andre Signature

Synopsis

During the 1960s and 1970s, Carl Andre produced a number of sculptures which are now counted 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 Minimalist Art. His most significant contribution was to distance sculpture from processes of carving, modeling, 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. In fact, during the 1960s and 1970s many of his low-lying, segmented works came to redefine for a new generation of artists the very nature of sculpture itself.

Key Ideas

Andre is a sculptor who neither carves into substances, nor models forms. His work involves the positioning of raw materials - such as bricks, blocks, ingots, or plates. He uses no fixatives to hold them in place. Andre has suggested that his procedure for building up a sculpture from small, regularly-shaped units is based on "the principle of masonry construction" - like stacking up bricks to build a wall.
Andre claims that his sculpture is an exploration of the properties of matter, and for this reason he has called himself a "matterist." Some people have seen his art as "concept based," as though each piece is merely the realization of an idea. But for Andre, this is mistaken: the characteristics of every unit of material he selects, and the arrangement and position of the sculpture in its environment, forms the substance of his art.
Andre insists on installing all new work in person, and his configurations are always carefully attuned to the scale and proportions of their immediate surroundings. However, once installed, his sculptures can be dismantled and reconstructed in other locations without his direct involvement.
In 1966, Andre began to describe his work as "sculpture as place," a phrase which alludes both to the fact that his sculptures are produced simply by positioning units on the floor, and to their "place generating" properties. Andre defined "place" as "an area within an environment which has been altered in such a way as to make the general environment more conspicuous."

Biography

Carl Andre Photo

Early Years

After school, Andre briefly attended Kenyon College in Ohio, but soon dropped out. He spent the next few months working in Quincy, and between 1955 and 1956 he completed his military service at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. In 1957 he moved to New York with the intent of devoting more time to writing poetry and making art. Living in Lower Manhattan, his circle of friends included Hollis Frampton and the painter Frank Stella, both of whom had also attended Phillips Academy. Frampton introduced Andre to the poetry and essays of Ezra Pound, and it was through Pound that Andre became increasingly interested in the work of the sculptor Constantin Brâncuși. Stimulated by the Romanian modernist, Andre began to experiment with found blocks of wood, sawing and carving them into simple geometric shapes.

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Carl Andre Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Carl Andre
Interactive chart with Carl Andre's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Ezra PoundEzra Pound
Ad ReinhardtAd Reinhardt
Robert MorrisRobert Morris
Constantin Brâncu?iConstantin Brâncu?i
Frank StellaFrank Stella

Personal Contacts

Hollis FramptonHollis Frampton
Constantin Brâncu?iConstantin Brâncu?i
Frank StellaFrank Stella

Movements

Neo-PlasticismNeo-Plasticism
ConstructivismConstructivism
SuprematismSuprematism
MinimalismMinimalism

Influences on Artist
Carl Andre
Carl Andre
Years Worked: 1958 - Present
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Eva HesseEva Hesse
Sol LeWittSol LeWitt
Donald JuddDonald Judd
Walter de MariaWalter de Maria
Richard SerraRichard Serra

Personal Contacts

Michael FriedMichael Fried
Rosalind KraussRosalind Krauss
Leon GolubLeon Golub
Nancy SperoNancy Spero

Movements

MinimalismMinimalism
Conceptual ArtConceptual Art
Landscape ArchitectureLandscape Architecture
Land ArtLand Art
Post-MinimalismPost-Minimalism

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Alistair Rider

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Alistair Rider
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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