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

Altbase 18

CARL ANDRE (B. 1935)
Altbase 18
Icelandic basalt, in eighteen parts
each: ½ x 11 ¾ x 11 ¾ in. (1.3 x 29.8 x 29.8 cm.)
overall: 1 ½ x 35 ¼ x 35 ¼ in. (3.8 x 89.5 x 89.5 cm.)
Executed in 1996. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.
Private collection, acquired directly from the artist, 2000
Anon. sale; Sotheby's, London, 29 June 2010, lot 144
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Reykjavik, Second Floor, Group Exhibition, 1996.
Kópavogur, Kopavogur Art Museum, Áratta, June-August 2000.

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Lot Essay

Altbase 18 articulates the space in which it is situated as a pure icon of Minimalism. The sculpture’s materiality and placement occupies the artistic space as a duality: it is impermanent in its assembled, unjoined construction, yet its composition of Icelandic basalt is materially enduring. Altbase 18 is pure, ordered and deliberate, yet natural and random in its geologic construction—the artist’s medium is both the naturally occurring basalt, as well as his deliberate placement of the construction in space. The graduated levels of the Icelandic basalt pieces mirror both the natural horizon from which the material was gleaned, as well as the manmade, architectural horizon. Altbase 18 capture’s the artist’s distinct imprint in Minimalist style in its unassuming, meditated form.

Carl Andre’s work and practice is quite literally grounded upon on elements and their occupation of space—particularly the horizontal plane of the gallery floor. In response to Carl Andre’s longtime German dealer, Konrad Fischer, describing his work as conceptual art, Andre responded: “I hate being called a conceptual artist, because my work is so material” (as quoted in The elemental material of the Icelandic basalt Andre used to construct Altbase 18 echoes the artist’s early interest in human use of earth materials, particularly his early sculptural inspirations from Stonehenge. Andre’s arranged grids of natural materials are a continuation of an artistic devotion to the sculptural practices hewn from the landscape of Andre’s youth in Quincy, Massachusetts, as well as the methodical, physical labor of working for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Derived from the Earth, the materials Andre has used throughout his career occupy the space of his memory, as well as the physical, Minimalist artistic space which the sculptor is most known for.

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