Create your first list.

A way to share and manage lots.

  • Provenance

    Estate of Fred Sandback, New York
    Zwirner & Wirth, New York

  • Exhibited

    Dallas, Dallas Museum of Art, Private Universes, May 24 - August 30, 2009
    Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Mudam Luxembourg, Solides Fragiles, October 4, 2014 - February 8, 2015

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I am interested in a strong, immediate, and beautiful situation.” Fred Sandback, 1975

    The present lot, Broadway Boogie Woogie (Sculptural Study, Twenty-two Part Vertical Construction), 1991/2006, one of the most important works ever realized, represents the subtle refinement with which Fred Sandback commands his chosen medium. Creating his first simple string sculpture out of colored string and wire, Sandback embarked on the lifelong pursuit to construct form by overcoming the sculptural challenges of negative and positive space and the articulation of volume and mass. He explains, “I did have a strong gut feeling from the beginning…. And that was wanting to be able to make sculpture that didn’t have an inside.”(Fred Sandback in Remarks on My Sculpture, 1966–86 in Fred Sandback: Sculpture, 1966–1986, Munich: Fred Jahn, 1986, pp. 12–19) Sandback’s “line constructions” intersect at multiple conceptual levels, touching upon Sandback’s fascination with philosophical formulations in connection to the geometric properties of the material world. His strong, colorful lines vibrate with the immediacy of their execution. Comparing his lines to the point of a number-two pencil, Sandback began using acrylic yarn in 1971 after his disappointment with elastic cords and their inherent loss of tension. Describing acrylic yarn as “fortuitous,” it would become the medium that defined his artistic career; he admired the durability of acrylic yarn, noting humorously that it just “goes ping and stays there.” (Fred Sandback in conversation, October 6, 2001, Chinati Foundation published in Fred Sandback: Sculpture, Chinati Foundation Newsletter, Marfa, Texas, October 7, 2002, pp. 26–32)

    Sandback was intent on embracing space as that element between form and mass. Expressing the idea that “space is made,” Sandback continued with the artistic pursuit begun by his minimalist predecessors such as Carl André and Donald Judd. Sandback believed that tactile surfaces and sensual solid forms aim to seduce the viewer and therefore eradicate any perception of the space in which the sculpture resides. By removing the materialist aspects of sculpture Sandback was able to fuse form and space, therefore equalizing what once was considered to be the inside and the outside of sculpture. Sandback explains, “One way to act is to define a boundary and to move toward the center implied by it. I’m doing the opposite, defining a center and moving outward toward the boundaries.”(Fred Sandback in 1975 Statements, Fred Sandback, (New York: Zwirner & Wirth, Lawrence Markey, 2004)

    By isolating the boundaries of his forms with precise, pinpoint lines, Sandback forces the viewer to acknowledge the space they inhabit. The incorporeal sculptures have no form without a space to cut through; within each installation the dimensions vary and the light conditions change. Without space as displaced mass, the acrylic yarn cannot contend with the history of sculpture and instead goes slack. The present lot, Broadway Boogie Woogie (Sculptural Study, Twenty-two Part Vertical Construction) recognizes not only the tradition of minimalism in form but draws its delicate color scheme and title from Piet Mondrian’s acclaimed masterpiece Broadway Boogie-Woogie, 1942-43. As the last work Mondrian completed before his death Broadway Boogie-Woogie combines, within its form and title, the vivacious nature of city life with the pulse of musicality. Compositionally, the colorfully gridded rows of primary colors run up and down and horizontally across the two dimensional canvas and carving the flat surfaces into segmental blocks. Mondrian has composed a work of visual intensity by representing the gridded streets of New York City as inextricably linked to the reverberating, unsynchronized beats of modern urban jazz. Sandback has revived the painting as a three-dimensional form; vertical lines of red, yellow and blue span from floor to ceiling in a clean white room. The taunt acrylic yarn appears fuzzy around the edges and bleeds colors into the space it immediately dissects. Sandback explains this visual phenomenon by insisting, “in no way is my work illusionistic. Illusionistic art refers you away from its factual existence towards something else. My work is full of illusions, but they don’t refer to anything. There isn't an idea which transcends the actuality of the pieces. The actuality is the idea.”(Fred Sanback, 1973 in Flash Art, no. 40, March-May 1973, p. 14)

    The present lot, Broadway Boogie Woogie (Sculptural Study, Twenty-two Part Vertical Construction), “demonstrates the link between Mr. Sandback and that Modern master, who both accomplished much with very little.” (M. Schwendender, “Art in Review; Fred Sandback,” New York Times, December 8, 2006) Mondrian and Sandback eradicated the ornamental in order to reach the core of fundamental abstraction through form and color. The purity of Sandback’s sculptures approach a level of artistic clarity that moves beyond the mere title of minimalism. His elegant creations represent a reverence to space and an understanding of its inherent philosophical properties. Defining space with colorful cords Sandback visually highlights its pre-existing volume. Space is never empty, as he explains, “There’s only a certain amount of control that you can have over a situation. I’m interested in working in that area in which the mind can no longer hold on to things. The point at which all ideas fall apart.”(Fred Sandback in 1975 Statements, Fred Sandback, (New York: Zwirner & Wirth, Lawrence Markey, 2004)

  • Artist Biography

    Fred Sandback

    American • 1943 - 2003

    There is more than meets the eye with the work of Fred Sandback. Employing a particularly unique material, acrylic yarn, the artist created architectural works by attaching yarn to surfaces and stretching it taut from floor to ceiling. The open space and surprising dimensions achieved by his pieces allow viewers to interact with them and complete them with their own imagination.

    By studying alongside such fellow Minimalists as Robert Morris and Donald Judd, Sandback developed the conceptual, uncluttered method for which he is known.

    View More Works


Ο ◆18

Broadway Boogie Woogie (Sculptural Study, Twenty-two part Vertical Construction)

red, yellow, blue acrylic yarn
dimensions vary with each installation
This work is unique and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity provided by the Estate, registered under Fred Sandback Estate Number 2188.1. This work is accompanied by installation instructions.

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $545,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Evening Sale 14 May 2015 7pm