Carl Andre



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Not on display

Carl Andre born 1935
Western red cedar
900 × 10900 × 2170 mm
Presented by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery 2007

Technique and condition

The sculpture is made from Western Red Cedar unfinished wood blocks, laid on the floor in an alternately horizontal and vertical geometric sequence of diamond shapes. The forty-three rectangular blocks of solid wood, each measuring 300mm x 300mm x 900mm, are cut from the heartwood of numerous selected tree trunks. The cross cut end on each block reveals concentric circles of annual growth rings radiating out from the centre. Curved line marks on these cross grain ends are caused by uneven applied pressure and fluctuating rotational movement in the large circular saw mill blade during the cutting process. Horizontal ripple lines along the length of each block were caused when each block was fed over the roller bed of an industrial sized band saw or planer. Two blocks have shallow straight saw cut notches in the ends.

Many of the blocks have splits along the grain of the wood, some fissures follow the whole length of the grain, others showing as radial splits on the ends, transverse the growth rings and travel a short distance down the grain. On many wood blocks, stripes of paler surface colour are evident, probably caused during the drying process by inserted spacer battens, thus preventing natural surface darkening of concealed areas.

Prior to acquisition, some corners were damaged during transport. Ruts, rub marks and accretions are on some blocks. Because the wood blocks may have been stored outside, fumigation against any pests was necessary. According to Donna De Salvo (email correspondence Feb 2003), the artist is not concerned that small losses will occur to edges, and corners as well as the wood changing colour as it ages.

There is no artist's inscription but a red stamp mark ‘9970 ANTWERP BELGIUM’ is stencil printed upside down and back to front on the side of one wood block. This is probably a shippers mark.

Sandra Deighton
May 2005

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