CARL ANDRE (B. 1935)
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CARL ANDRE (B. 1935)

Tinweg

Details
CARL ANDRE (B. 1935)
Tinweg
tin plates, in forty-three parts
each: 3/8 x 5 7/8 x 11 3/8in. (1 x 15 x 30cm.)
overall: 3/8 x 5 7/8 x 507 7/8in. (1 x 15 x 1290cm.)
Executed in 1990
Provenance
Galerie Plus-Kern, Brussels (acquired directly from the artist).
Geukens & De Vil, Knokke-Heist.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2008.
Exhibited
Brussels, Galerie Plus-Kern, Carl Andre, 1990.
Marseille, Musée Cantini, Sculptor 1997 Carl Andre, 1997, pp. 26, 94 (installation view illustrated on the front cover and p. 27).
London, Whitechapel, Carl Andre, 2000.
Special notice
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Further details
The work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

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Anna Touzin Specialist, Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

Measuring over twelve metres in length, Tinweg (1990) is a compelling example of Carl Andre’s metal floor sculptures. Comprised of forty-three individual plates of industrially milled tin, the linear path brazenly cuts through the space it inhabits. Laid down on the floor with no preparation, and arranged without joining or altering any of its pieces, the work eschews any trace of the artist’s hand. Featured in the exhibition Sculptor 1997 Carl Andre at Musée Cantini, Marseille in 1997, where the work reflected its lighting to create a rippling reflection on the wall, Tinweg commands the environment it is placed in. Inviting interaction with its viewing public, the work is an example of Andre’s ‘causeways’: a term the artist used to describe works which ‘cause you to make your way along them or around them or to move the spectator over them’ (C. Andre, quoted in P. Tuchman, ‘An Interview with Carl Andre,’ Artforum, Vol. 8, No. 10, Summer 1970, p. 57). Offering no preferred direction, nor stating what marks the beginning or end of its arrangement, Tinweg exemplifies Andre’s Minimalist language of form, space and material.

Moving to New York in 1957, Andre began to create sculptures the following year, his early works consisting of vertically stacked blocks of wood or plastic. Between 1960 and 1964, he worked as a freight brakeman and conductor on the Pennsylvania Railroad, a period in which he was exposed to a host of industrial materials, and which prompted him to embark on the metal floor works he would become renowned for. Andre departed from the traditional concept of sculpture as a chiselled, three-dimensional object in bronze or marble, asserting how ‘rather than cut into the material,’ he would ‘use the material as the cut in space’ (C. Andre, quoted in D. Bourdon, Carl Andre: Sculpture 1959-1977, New York 1978, p. 19). By removing his sculptures from a pedestal, and presenting them instead as a horizontal permeation of space, Andre aligned himself with Minimalist art, a movement which had gained momentum in New York in the 1960s. An instance of spatial and material autonomy, Tinweg embodies Frank Stella’s Minimalist manifesto that ‘What you see is what you see’ (F. Stella, quoted in B. Glaser, ‘Questions to Stella and Judd,’ Art News, September 1966, p. 6).

Executed in 1990, Tinweg belongs to the series of elemental experiments—namely in tin, nickel, carbon and iron—that Andre turned to later in his career, marking a departure from the ‘construction metals’ that defined his early oeuvre (C. Andre, quoted in P. Cummings, Artists in Their Own Words, New York 1979, p. 40). Its title, which can be loosely translated to ‘Tin Way’, suggests a path of travel. ‘They’re like roads,’ Andre said of his sculptures, ‘but certainly not fixed point vistas. I think sculpture should have an infinite point of view’ (C. Andre, quoted in P. Tuchman, ibid.). Tied to this, the composition of Tinweg highlights Andre’s interest in sequential, rectilinear structures, sharing in the geometric grammar that was adopted by other Minimalists like Sol LeWitt and Donald Judd. A gleaming path of material, Tinweg is a glorious example of the simple but potent spatial experiences that define Andre’s work.

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