Carl Andre is an American minimalist artist recognized both for his ordered linear format and grid format sculptures and for being tried and acquitted for murdering his wife, artist Ana Mendieta. His sculptures range from large public artworks to more intimate tile patterns arranged on the floor of an exhibition space.
In 1965 he had his first public exhibition of work in the "Shape and Structure" show curated by Henry Geldzahler at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery. Andre's controversial "Lever" was included in the seminal 1966 show at the Jewish Museum in New York entitled Primary Structures.
In 1970 he had a one man exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and has had one man exhibitions and participated in group shows in major museums, galleries, and kunsthalles throughout America and Europe.
In 1972, Britain's Tate Gallery acquired Andre's Equivalent VIII, comprised of an arrangement of fireplace bricks. The piece was exhibited several times without incident, but became the center of controversy in 1976 after being featured in an article in The Sunday Times and later being defaced with paint. The "Bricks controversy" became one of the most famous public debates in Britain about contemporary art.
In 1979 Andre first met Ana Mendieta through a mutual friendship with artists Leon Golub and Nancy Spero at AIR Gallery in New York City. Andre and Mendieta eventually married in 1985, but the relationship ended in tragedy. Mendieta fell to her death from Andre's 34th story apartment window in 1985 after an argument with Andre. Andre was charged with second degree murder. He elected to be tried before a judge with no jury. In 1988 Andre was acquitted of all charges related to Mendieta's death.