Carl Andre - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The Artist
    Private Collection
    Thence by descent to the present owner

  • Literature

    ArtForum, vol. 51, no. 10, Summer 2013, p. 284 (illustrated, cover)
    Lynn Kost, ed., Carl Andre: Poems 1958-1969, exh. cat., Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen, 2014, p. 17 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “My interest in elements or particles in sculpture is paralleled by my interest in words as particles of language” Carl Andre, 1975

    In Carl Andre’s oeuvre of poetry, the visual relationship between words and their placement on a page is inextricably linked. Made with a typewriter printed onto carbon paper, the artist’s typography is arranged in a variety of patterns. The resulting configurations of words look as much like sketches of objects as they do poems, thus occupying a unique, but poignantly relevant place in the artist’s body of Minimalist sculpture for which he is most well-known. Over the past few years, Andre’s poems have gained increased recognition by critics, curators and art historians, with increased exhibition and publication. The present lot POETICAL ECONOMY is an early example of the artist’s poetry that was included in Andre’s recent traveling retrospective beginning at the Dia:Beacon in 2014. Composed of its title and a five-line stanza all relegated to the upper left quadrant of the page, this work is one of the few in Andre’s oeuvre to call attention to the art form of poetry itself. “I am an eater and drinker and there is no poetry in consumption unless it kills”, it reads, ambiguously occupying a space somewhere between a diary entry and a societal statement on excess.

    In contrast, Intimate from a few years later is less defined by its content and more by its visual structure. Composed of a walking man made out of a sequence of nonsensical words, Intimate rejects the regularity of Minimalist shapes and forms while still retaining a visual balance and simplicity. The work was illustrated on the cover of ArtForum’s Summer 2013 issue, with an accompanying article written by Gavin Delahunty, featuring 12 of Andre’s poems including the present lot, all published for the first time. Delahunty argues that Andre’s poetry should not be considered a complement nor directly influenced by Andre’s sculpture, but rather as masterworks in their own right which explore both the visual and the literary. As he aptly espouses “Andre’s poems exist in a tantalizing space somewhere between the established categories and forms of poetry and those of sculpture; as such, their status remains uncertain” (Gavin Delahunty, “Carl Andre: Poems” in ArtForum, vol. 51, no. 10, Summer 2013, p. 283). Indeed, both of the present lots poignantly illustrate Andre’s poems as a crucial series of works within his artistic exploration of the complexity of compositional structures.




signed and dated "@carl andre 1961" on the reverse
typewriter carbon on paper
11 x 8 1/2 in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm.)
Executed in 1961.

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $27,500

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 17 May 2017