Exhibition view: "Carl Andre. Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010." MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) Los Angeles. Photo Brian Forrest.

Carl André

Carl Andre, New York, 2015 © Photo Bill Jacobson studio.

Quincy, Massachusetts, USA, 1954

Art is the exclusion of the unnecessary.

Carl Andre was born in 1935 in Quincy, Massachusetts. From 1951 to 1953 he attended the Phillips Academy, Andover, where he studied art under Patrick Morgan. In 1957 he moved to New York where he started writing poetry and making drawings and some abstract sculptures with geometric forms. His most original contribution to the minimalist movement, according to the critic Edward Strickland, was the fact of “taking the removal of sculpture from the pedestal a step further, by conceiving of floor-level art more unconventional that even the columns, slabs, and boxes that had by then been placed on the floor without pedestal by Morris, Smith, and Judd”.

The main theme of Andre’s floor-work is it’s essential redefinition of perceptual and symbolic space, particularly in the context of a museum or a gallery, in which the eyes of the viewer are traditionally raised above the purely functional space of the floor to the ritual space, the transcendental realm of “high” art. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, The Tate Gallery in London, the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, among others.