Carl Andre

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Carl Andre (born September 16, 1935 , in Quincy , Massachusetts ) is an American sculptor of minimalism .


From 1951 to 1953, Carl Andre attended the prestigious Phillips Academy boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts , where he received the only formal art lessons of his life from Patrick and Maud Morgan. Andre became friends with Hollis Frampton . Studies at Kenyon College , Ohio were dropped out early. In 1954 Andre visited England and France, from 1955 to 1956 he did his military service in Fort Bragg , North Carolina.

He moved to New York in 1957, where Hollis Frampton introduced him to Frank Stella , who had also attended Phillips Academy. Andre worked in Stella's studio from 1958–60. Frampton also drew his attention to Ezra Pound , in whose essays he came across Constantin Brancusi . The first wooden sculptures were created, but the work was apparently burned by a new tenant. There were nine pyramids made of pre-cut logs that were stacked together to form a solid structure. In 1970 Andre built one of these pyramids. It is now in the Dallas Art Museum.

43 Roaring forty (1968) in the Kröller-Müller Museum , Otterlo, Netherlands

From 1960 to 1964 he worked on the Pennsylvania Railroad in New Jersey as a brakeman on freight trains and a conductor, a period in which he had no money, space or time for sculpting, but which he considered extraordinary for the development of his artistic intentions has been considered important. Typewriter poems constructed from found texts according to various random principles date from this period. In New Jersey he met Robert Smithson , with whom he went hiking in the area. Andre's first solo exhibition took place in 1965 at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York. As a result, his work was shown in well-known museums and galleries. In October 1966 he took part in exhibition 10 at the (Virginia) Dwan Gallery with Ad Reinhardt , Robert Smithson, Robert Morris , Agnes Martin , Jo Baer , Dan Flavin , Michael Steiner, Sol Le Witt and Donald Judd . On July 23, 1963, Heiner Friedrich opened the Friedrich & Dahlem gallery in Munich with Franz Dahlem and his wife Six . In addition to some minimal , land art and conceptual artists who were still unknown at the time , the Friedrich Gallery also showed the first floor sculptures by Carl Andre in 1968. The Darmstadt entrepreneur Karl Ströher acquired three important works by Andre from Friedrich's exhibition in order to make them available on loan to the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt . The municipal museum in Mönchengladbach then showed works by Andre at the end of 1968.

In March 1969 Andre took part in Harald Szeemann 's "legendary" exhibition Live in your head: When Attitudes become Form at the Kunsthalle Bern . The exhibition then traveled from the Kunsthalle Bern to the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. In 1968 his work could be seen at the 4th documenta in Kassel , 1970 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, 1977 at documenta 6 in Kassel, 1981 at Westkunst in Cologne, 1982 at documenta 7 in Kassel, 1987 at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, 1994 in Brussels in the Musée des Beaux-Arts , 1996 in the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, England, 1997 in the Musée Cantini in Marseille and in the same year in Germany in the synagogue in Stommeln . In 1981 Peter Iden acquired three floor works Andres together with a further 84 works from Karl Ströher's collection for the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt. The works have since been shown in various exhibitions between 1991 and 2002 in the Frankfurt Museum and internationally. In 2011 Andre was awarded the highly endowed Roswitha Haftmann Prize . In 2015 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .

In 1985 Andre married the Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta . On September 8, 1985, Mendieta fell out of the window of their New York apartment on the 34th floor. Carl Andre was acquitted of the murder charge in 1988. The death of Mendieta is still unclear to this day.


Andre is one of the most important representatives of minimalism. Of the artists of his time, he particularly valued Frank Stella, with whom he worked in 1958/59, and above all Constantin Brâncuși , with whose sculpture Endless Column he had long and intensively studied. Brâncuși is seen by some art historians as a forerunner of Minimal Art, while Andre's first sculpture, the nine layered pyramids, is classified as the first minimalist work at all. Andre's early work revolves around the problem of a cut in space , and he sees related tendencies in Brâncuși's work. In the following works he concentrated on large-scale arrangements of lines, reliefs or surfaces made of various materials, such as unprocessed wood, wooden planks, bricks, granite blocks, pieces of chalk or flat steel and copper plates, which occasionally overlap into adjacent rooms.

Since the mid-1960s Andre has concentrated on extremely flat sculptures: fields that consist of square or rectangular plates made of various materials such as copper, lead, aluminum, steel, etc., which are laid edge to edge, which therefore do not cast any shadows which can be entered by the viewer. The sensual perception of the viewer who enters the field, feels the different materials under his feet, hears the different sounds and tones when stepping on the different panels and who can see the changes in the light on the materials through his own shadow, is reflected in Andre's sculptures required. Andre calls his sculptures roads , streets, and zones , zones or areas. This means that both the space around the work of art and above the work of art is part of it, which the viewer does not face at a distance, frontal, but that he is in the space of the work of art itself, which he perceives from within with all his senses.

In addition to dealing with the phenomenon of space, a constant in Andres' work is his attention and sensitivity to the various materials, for example raw, little processed wood. Another constant in his artistic work is playing with language and words.


  • 1964: "Lumber object"
  • 1970: "Aluminum and zinc level"
  • 1977: "Cutting line (Secant)"
  • 1997: “Synagogue Project”, Stommeln
  • 2007: "Homenaje a Chillida", Cologne

Working in public collections


  • 1991: Carl Andre: Extraneous Roots , Museum of Modern Art in the Carmelite Monastery, Frankfurt am Main
  • 1996: Sculptor 1966 , Wolfsburg Art Museum , Wolfsburg
  • 2003: Carl Andre: Blickachsen 4 , sculptures in the spa gardens Bad Homburg vd Höhe , Bad Homburg May 18 - October 5, 2003.
  • 2004: Carl Andre - New works and new publication - Carl Andre Glarus 1993-2004 , Galerie Tschudi , Glarus
  • 2005: Carl Andre Black holes, 44th Carbon copper triads , Kunsthalle Basel
  • 2010: Radical Conceptual , Museum of Modern Art (MMK), Frankfurt am Main
  • 2011: Carl Andre , Museum Kurhaus Kleve and Museion in Bozen , Italy .
  • 2014: Poems , Museum zu Allerheiligen , Schaffhausen
  • 2014: Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010. , Slide: Beacon , Beacon, USA.
  • 2014: A Friendship: Carl Andre's Works on Paper from the LeWitt Collection. , The Dan Flavin Institute, Bridgehampton, USA
  • 2014: Carl Andre: Squares. , Konrad Fischer Gallery Düsseldorf
  • 2014: Peace of Münster , LWL-Museum for Art and Culture, Münster (from September 20)

Texts, poems

  • One Hundred Sonnets . Seth Siegelaub , Dwan Gallery, New York 1969
  • A Theory of Poetry . Seth Siegellaub, Dwan Gallery, New York 1969
  • Lyrics ond Odes . Seth Siegelaub, Dwan Gallery, New York 1969
  • Eleven Poems . Sperone, Turin 1974.
  • James Meyer (Ed.), Carl Andre: Cuts, Texts. 1959-2004 . MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. 2005. ISBN 0-262-01215-4


  • Rolf Lauter , Carl Andre: Extraneous Roots , Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3882704616
  • Carl Andre, Sculptor 1996. Krefeld at home, Wolfsburg at large . Exhibition catalog. Stuttgart 1996. ISBN 3-89611-011-X .
  • Doris von Drathen: Emergency bridges through space. About Carl Andre . In: artist. Critical lexicon on contemporary art . 32nd edition.
  • Film about Carl Andre: Without Walls: Upholding the Bricks . Tate Gallery, London
  • Christel Sauer: Carl Andre: Cuts . Raussmüller Collection, Basel 2011, ISBN 978-3-905777-10-9
  • Lynn Kost (Ed.): Carl Andre. Poems , with texts by Gavin Delahunty, Lynn Kost and Valérie Mavridorakis, English / German, JRP | Ringier, Zurich 2014, ISBN 978-3-03764-364-8 .
  • Robert Katz : Naked by the Window: The Fatal Marriage of Carl Andre and Ana Mendieta . New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Carl Andre : Galerie Heiner Friedrich, opening March 26, 1968, 7 pm. Duration: March 26 - April 18, 1968, Maximiliansstr. 15, Munich 1968. [1]
  2. ^ Municipal Museum, Mönchen-Gladbach. (Ed.): Carl Andre. Exhibition from October 18 to December 15, 1968 . 1968 ( [accessed March 6, 2020]).
  3. Harald Szeemann in: Live in your head. When Attitudes Become Form. Works-Concepts-Processes-Situation-Information. When attitudes become form. Works-concepts-processes-situations-information , exhibition catalog, Kunsthalle Bern, 1969
  4. ^ Kunsthalle Basel (ed.): "With by through because towards despite" ( Memento from August 3, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  5. ^ Rolf Lauter , The Museum of Modern Art and the Ströher Collection. On the history of a private collection , Frankfurt am Main 1994, ISBN 3797305850
  6. ^ Peter Iden , Rolf Lauter : Pictures for Frankfurt. Inventory catalog of the Museum of Modern Art. Munich 1985, ISBN 3791307029
  7. ^ Rolf Lauter: Carl Andre: extraneous roots, Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt in the Karmeliterkloster, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3882704616
  8. ^ Andreas Bee: Ten Years of the Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt am Main , Cologne 2003, ISBN 3832156291
  9. Peter Iden , Rolf Lauter : Dalla pop art americana alla nuova figurazione: opere del Museo d'arte moderna di Francoforte , Padiglione d'arte contemporanea, Milano, 1987 ISBN 9788820207632
  10. ^ Gillian Sneed: The Case of Ana Mendieta ( Memento of August 27, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) in: Art in America 10/12/10, accessed on May 6, 2012
  11. ^ Announcement on the exhibition ( Memento from June 24, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), in English, accessed on September 19, 2014.
  12. Notice on the exhibition , accessed on July 27, 2014.
  13. Press release , accessed on August 13, 2014

Web links

Commons : Carl Andre  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files