Carl Andre

(b. 1935) American minimalist sculptor

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(b Quincy, Mass., 16 Sept. 1935).

American sculptor, a leading exponent of Minimal art. Typically he produces his works by placing identical ready-made commercial units such as bricks, cement blocks, metal plates, etc. (occasionally ‘natural products’ like logs or bales of hay) in simple geometrical arrangements without adhesives or joints; the works are dismantled when not on exhibition. His most characteristic products abjure height and are arranged as horizontal configurations on the ground (‘more like roads than buildings’, in his own words); some are even intended to be walked over. In Britain Andre is best known for the sensational publicity accompanying the ‘Tate bricks’ incident in 1976. His Equivalent VIII (1966) (consisting of 120 bricks arranged two deep in a rectangle) was vandalized and there was an outcry about the alleged waste of public money on its purchase by the Tate Gallery. In 1985 Andre again made headlines when he was charged with murdering his wife, Ana Mendieta (1948–85), a Cuban-born Performance and Video artist (who died after falling from a window); he maintained that Mendieta had committed suicide and he was acquitted at his trial in 1988.

Subjects: Art.

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