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188

INTIMATE PASSION: WORKS FROM A PRESTIGIOUS EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Carl Andre
29 PRIME RECTILE
JUMP TO LOT
188

INTIMATE PASSION: WORKS FROM A PRESTIGIOUS EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Carl Andre
29 PRIME RECTILE
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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London

Carl Andre
B. 1935
29 PRIME RECTILE
cold rolled steel, in 29 parts
each: 0.5 by 39.7 by 20.1 cm. 1/4 by 15 5/8 by 7 7/8 in.
overall: 0.5 by 39.7 by 580.4 cm. 1/4 by 15 5/8 by 228 1/2 in.
Executed in 1977.
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This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed twice, titled and dated New York 3 Nov 88 by the artist.

Provenance

Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Private Collection, United Kingdom
Sotheby's, New York, 13 May 2010, Lot 166
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Exhibited

Los Angeles, Otis Art Institute Gallery, Carl Andre, January - February 1977
New York, Sperone Westwater Fischer, Carl Andre, May 1977
New York, Paula Cooper Gallery, Carl Andre, January 1985

Literature

Exh. Cat., The Hague, Haags Gemeentemuseum; and Eindhoven, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Carl Andre, January - March 1987, p. 108, no. 77-9, illustrated

Catalogue Note

A perfect example of Carl Andre’s non-referential and non-hierarchical composition, 29 Prime Rectile presents a sleek line of cold rolled steel that runs flush to the floor. André invites viewers to engage with his work in a directly tactile way; to touch it in order to better experience the physical properties of the materials and the shifts in density, durability and texture that vary from tile to tile. The present work resembles several other works by André in that it welcomes connotations of a pathway. The artist has said that: “my idea of a piece of sculpture is a road. That is, a road doesn't reveal itself at or from any particular point. Roads appear and disappear. We either have to travel on them or beside them. Most of my works - certainly the successful ones - have been ones that are in a way causeways - they cause you to make your way along them or around them or to move the spectator over them” (Carl Andre in conversation with Phyllis Tuchman in: Eva Meyer Hermann, Ed., Carl Andre Sculptor 1996, Stuttgart 1996, p. 47). In this way, 29 Prime Rectile not only modifies the space in which it is exhibited but alters the way that viewers interact with that space and invites them to ponder the definition of ‘place’.

The flat metal plates of 29 Prime Rectile fundamentally challenge the meaning of sculpture which traditionally revolved around concepts of ‘form’ and ‘structure’. Andre’s new artistic expression fell perfectly in line with the Minimalist movement. Focused on rejecting the illusionism inherent to painting, Minimalism aimed to displace the importance given to the art object and democratise the enjoyment of art. In this way, André literally removes the plinth on which sculpture had previously stood and replaces it with something that is neither modelled, carved nor constructed and daringly encourages interaction. The simplification of technique, free from the intuitive and emotionally-charged decision making of Abstract Expressionism, was essential to this new Minimalist art for Andre and his contemporaries like Sol LeWitt, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd. The artist eulogised: “what the idea of 'minimal art' means to me is that the person has drained and rid himself of the burden, the cultural over-burden that stands shadowing and eclipsing art. I think art is quite apart from that and you have to really rid yourself of those securities and certainties and assumptions and get down to something, which is closer and resembles some kind of blankness. Then one must construct again out of this reduced circumstance” (Carl Andre cited in: Alistair Rider, Ed., Carl Andre: Things in Their Elements, London 2011, p. 249). As evidenced in 29 Prime Rectile, André elevates the assemblage of units, elegantly uniform and streamlined, to a new plane of understanding that changed the course of art history.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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London