A selection of sculptures and typed poems from the 1960s and 1970s by Carl Andre one of the most influential sculptors of the twentieth century is set to go on display at the Turner Contemporary in Margate in February 2013.
Andre is an American sculptor and poet. Born in 1935 in Quincy, Massachusetts. He studied art at Phillips Academy, Andover, MA. In 1954, he worked for the Boston Gear Works and travelled to England and France. Andre served in the US Army 1955-6. In 1957 he moved to New York and worked for a publisher. While in Manhattan he wrote poetry and made drawings and some abstract sculptures in perspex and wood, with geometric forms. Influenced by Brancusi and Frank Stella,who became a close friend. In 1960-4 he worked as railroad freight brakesman and conductor on the Pennsylvania Railroad; making few sculptures, but these show a move away from carving and the first sight of his iconic works constructed out of simple blocks of material. His sculpture first exhibited in a group show in 1964, followed by his first one-man exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, 1965; a major retrospective exhibition followed at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1970. Carl Andre is known for his floor sculptures made out of standard industrial units such as bricks or metal plates in simple arithmetic combinations. He also experimented with scattered blocks and pieces of bent pipe, etc. He Lives in New York.
Carl Andre is today best known as one of the founders of Minimalism, but he has also engaged in a parallel practice as a poet. Andre’s poems are characterised by the way in which they isolate words from syntax, and from larger sets of words (often derived from a particular historical source). These isolated units are subjected to repetition, gridding and other arrangements, emphasising their materiality; Andre is especially drawn to nouns and proper names, words that emphasise their properties as ‘things’. There is a clear relationship between Andre’s poetry and his sculpture of the mid-to-late 1960s, the period in which he was developing his material language of stacked, gridded and modular structures.
1 February – 6 May 2013 Turner Contemporary Margate