RECEPTIONSATURDAY, JULY 14, 2012
ON VIEW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 8, 2012
ACE GALLERY LOS ANGELES
SECOND FLOOR GALLERIES
As a pioneer and preeminent member of Minimalism, Carl Andre's groundbreaking work challenges the inherent qualities of the three-dimensional object. The purity of his sculpture divorces all relations to function, metaphor and emotion. He creates profoundly simple pieces that draw attention from their external conditions to the viewer's perception of the object and its surrounding space. By simplifying his dialogue with the viewer, Andre emphasizes the importance of art within its space, because, in the artist's own words, "the essence of art is human association."1 To ensure a personal encounter with his works, Andre's sculptures avoid superfluous forms. They invite exploration of the viewer's field of vision and its perceptual consequences.
In 1966, Andre began using the phrase "sculpture as place" to describe his work, which alludes to both the fact that his sculptures are produced simply by positioning units on the ground, and to their "place generating" properties. "Place" is a term used by Andre to delineate an area within an environment that has been altered so as to make the general setting more conspicuous. In 1968, Andre exhibited his Fall sculpture at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.2 Fall exemplifies what the artist termed "sculpture as place." The hot-rolled steel plates were assembled in such a way so as articulate three-dimensionality through the sculpture's industrious utilization of negative and positive space. Nearly forty years later, Andre created a work that replicates and expands the fundamentals of Fall. ACE Gallery has installed Andre's recent sculpture Rise (2011), a 21-unit row of hot-rolled steel angles extending 49 feet along the gallery wall.
Rise is the culmination of a career devoid of associative, referential and non-hierarchic compositions—a pure form. The flatness of Rise neutralizes the sheer immensity of the sculpture until the viewer grasps its reality. Once this understanding is processed, Rise impresses a sense of immediacy for physical and intellectual contemplation. The artwork's material, visual, and spatial qualities create a site-specific experience for viewers to discover, explore, and interpret. Andre assembles ordinary materials in a way that creates endless bounds of imaginary energy.
In March 2013, Dia Art Foundation will organize the first North American retrospective of the work of Andre. The exhibition will mark the most comprehensive presentation of Andre's work in the United States since a 1970 exhibition at the Guggenheim. The retrospective will comprise a broad range of sculpture made over the past fifty years, including the artist's emblematic floor and corner pieces, highlighting Andre's radical use of standardized units of industrial material such as timber planks, concrete blocks, and metal plates, among others. It will also feature a vast selection of Andre's poems, which echo and extend his geometric accumulations beyond the three-dimensional realm.
Carl Andre was born in 1935 in Quincy, Massachusetts and has exhibited with ACE Gallery since 1969. Andre has since solidified Minimalism's position in twentieth century art history alongside Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, and Dan Flavin The artist lives and works in New York City.
1. Tomkins, Calvin. "The Materialist: Carl Andre's Emient Obscurity." The New Yorker Dec. 5, 2011.
2. Rider, Alistair. Carl Andre: Things in Their Elements. London: Phaidon, 2011.