Minimalist sculptor Carl Andre has died at 88.

Carl Andre, the pioneering Minimalist sculptor known for his innovative use of industrial materials, died on January 24th at the age of 88. His death was confirmed by Paula Cooper Gallery, which has represented him since 1978. Andre’s work in sculpture, marked by a commitment to geometric forms and raw materials, has left a lasting impact on contemporary art.

During his 70 year-long career, the artist worked in poetry as well as in sculptural installations, which are characterized by bold explorations of geometry and materiality. Starting in the mid-1960s, his work, alongside contemporaries like Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, contributed significantly to the foundation of Minimalism. Notable for his use of bricks, wood, and copper, Andre’s often austere installations challenged traditional perceptions of sculpture, while also drawing parallels between industrial and art labor practices.

However, Andre’s legacy is also complex, due to the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife, Ana Mendieta, in 1985, who fell from a window after a fight between the couple. Andre was acquitted of homicide charges, though to this day, the case continues to provoke debate and protest within the art community.

Manet Post and Lintel, 1980
Carl Andre

Paula Cooper Gallery

Born in 1935 in Quincy, Massachusetts, Andre moved to New York in 1956, where he developed his sculptural practice, drawing inspiration from Frank Stella and Constantin Brancusi. His first solo show, “Shape and Structure,” at Tibor de Nagy in New York, was an immediate hit, and his first retrospective took place at the Guggenheim museum in 1970.

Andre created over 2000 sculptures during his career, and the same number of poems. Notable works include Equivalent VIII (1966), a rectangular arrangement of identical firebricks which garnered conservative outrage in the U.K. after it was purchased by the Tate. His work has been shown extensively internationally, appearing in the 2013 Venice Biennale and a 2014 survey at Dia:Beacon. His works are also in the collections of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

In 2022, the artist showed his final major sculpture at Paula Cooper Gallery: 5VCEDAR5H (2021), comprising interlocking red cedar blocks leaning vertically and horizontally against a wall.

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