Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010
Tracing the full evolution over five decades of the thinking of Carl Andre, a crucial figure in the redefinition of contemporary sculpture, Dia Art Foundation will present Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010 from May 5, 2014, through March 2, 2015, at Dia:Beacon. The retrospective will include 45 sculptures; over 160 poems and works on paper presented in wooden vitrines designed by the artist; a selection of rarely exhibited assemblages known as Dada Forgeries; and an unprecedented selection of photographs and ephemera. This will be the first museum survey of Andre’s entire oeuvre, and the first retrospective in North America since 1978–-80.
After premiering at Dia:Beacon, the retrospective’s only venue in the United States, it will travel to museums in Europe, including Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (May 7–October 12, 2015); Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (May 7–September 25, 2016); and Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (October 20, 2016–February 12, 2017).
The retrospective will represent all major historical and aesthetic shifts in Andre’s considerable oeuvre, including the artist’s signature works made out of unaltered building and industrial materials such as brick stacks, metal squares, slabs, and timber blocks. One of Andre’s landmark ephemeral works will be refabricated and installed on the grounds of Dia:Beacon for the duration of the retrospective, and an unparalleled display of Andre’s poems and typewriter works will examine the pivotal role of language in his practice. Highlighting the richness of the artist’s work—from his early exercises to his latest productions—the presentation at Dia:Beacon will also offer an opportunity to examine concerns shared by Andre and artists in Dia’s collection, such as Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson, and Richard Serra.
“The simplicity of Carl Andre’s work conveys a striking complexity; it naturally reveals the multiple ‘conditions’ that determine not only the artwork as such, but also the material itself in relation to historical and economic conditions. Andre’s long-lasting impact on contemporary art is often reduced to the realm of sculpture, when in fact his process and methodology are palpable across various disciplines and generations of artists. Working with Carl over the past three years, we’ve had the privilege of experiencing his unique precision, his intense understanding of his vocation, and his courageous attempt to rewrite the status of a work of art,” said Yasmil Raymond, Curator, Dia Art Foundation.
Co-curated by Dia curator Yasmil Raymond and Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles director Philippe Vergne, in close collaboration with the artist, the retrospective will bring together works from renowned collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Canada, Dallas Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Tate, Addison Gallery of American Art, and Wexner Center for the Arts.
Dia will present both historical and recent sculptures by the artist. The earliest stages of his production will be emphasized by the presence of seminal series and exercises, while the main stages of Andre’s mature oeuvre will be represented by a large selection of metal, wood, and brick works. In addition, Andre’s crucial contribution to the inception of earthworks will be highlighted by Joint (1968), an ephemeral hay sculpture that will be refabricated for this important occasion and presented on the back lawn at Dia:Beacon.
Andre’s poems, presented in neighboring galleries, will provide a strikingly intimate perspective on his visionary approach to concrete poetry. These typewritten sheets, which include early notes and studies, progressively cohere into a highly systematic style, comprising found language and historical references, patterned combinations of everyday speech and lexicon, obscure epigrams, and abstract, geometric typewriter drawings. This vast survey of Andre’s poems, the largest to date, will be presented in two consecutive cycles during the retrospective at Dia:Beacon.
To supplement the presentation of sculptures and poems, Dia will offer a rare opportunity to view, for the first time in a museum context, a selection of Andre’s Dada Forgeries—a legendary series of assemblages and readymade-like pieces produced sporadically, but consistently, between the late 1950s and the early 2000s. Reinforcing Dia’s mission of pioneering art scholarship, this will be the first time that this series will be examined as a cohesive collection, whose quasi-confidential status and humorous absurdity have challenged Andre experts. Andre’s Dada Forgeries will be installed in a special gallery that will also include ephemera and photographic documentation. This room will present a selection from Hollis Frampton’s documentation of Andre’s early works (1958–61), along with other collaborations between Andre and the photographers Gianfranco Gorgoni (1970) and Gordon “Diz” Bensley (1971). In addition, this room will also gather an assortment of postcard sets, demonstrating Andre’s sustained interest in postal correspondence as a poetic and artistic medium.
A clothbound, 400-page, full-color book will accompany the retrospective, offering original essays by co-curators Yasmil Raymond and Philippe Vergne and contributions by internationally respected authors and scholars such as art historians Arnauld Pierre, Alistair Rider, Anne Rorimer, Phyllis Tuchman, and Mika Yoshitake; poetry scholar Marjorie Perloff; curators Christophe Cherix and Manuel Cirauqui; classicist Brooke Holmes; and poet Vincent Katz. Co-edited by Michelle Piranio and Jeremy Sigler and coordinated by Manuel Cirauqui, the publication also includes a comprehensive exhibition history, bibliography, and chronology. The book’s designer is the award-winning Purtill Family Business.
The book is realized within the context of Dia’s publication program, which, since 1987, has produced a substantial body of scholarship surrounding Dia’s exhibitions, programs, and permanent collection. It is available for purchase at the bookshop at Dia:Beacon and at www.diabooks.org.
A Friendship: Carl Andre’s Works on Paper from the LeWitt Collection
June 7, 2014–March 2, 2015
The Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton, New York
Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010 is made possible by lead support from the Henry Luce Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Major support is provided by the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte; The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston; Jill and Peter Kraus; the National Endowment for the Arts; and Sotheby’s. Generous support is provided by Virginia Dwan; Glenstone; Agnes and Edward Lee; and Amalia Dayan and Adam Lindemann. Additional support is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency; the Marx Family Advised Fund at Aspen Community Foundation; Henry McNeil; The Straus Family Fund; and Emily Rauh Pulitzer.
Generous funding for the publication is provided by Sadie Coles HQ; Paula Cooper; and Konrad Fischer Galerie. Additional support is provided by Galerie Tschudi; Galleria Alfonso Artiaco; Dominique Lévy Gallery; and Angela Westwater, Sperone Westwater.