Carl Andre, 7 Hollow Square, 2008
September 6 — October 11, 2008
Paula Cooper Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by Carl Andre. Continuing his strategy of arranging standardized elements in geometric configurations, Andre’s new works take pre-cut columns of western red cedar wood as their constituent building blocks. Placing these timbers upright, Andre has delineated quadrilateral perimeters in an increasing numerical progression. This rational ordering system made visible in cedar wood animates the artist’s long-held interest in the relationship between the material, physical world and the theoretical world.
Andre started his career as a sculptor working with wood. In 1958-1959, he was carving wood timbers using a chisel or saw to create abstract pieces with geometric, often symmetrical patterns. These early works recalled both the verticality and symmetry of Brancusi’s sculptures and the rigorous logic of the paintings of Frank Stella, whose studio Andre was sharing at the time. In 1960, Andre started his Elements series, using identical timbers of equal size in various configurations. This series marks the moment when Andre definitively abandoned the manipulation of materials. He progressively moved on to materials such as granite, limestone, steel, lead and copper.