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American Sculpture

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Fourth Copper Corner

20th century
0.5 cm x 94.5 cm (3/16 in. x 37 3/16 in.)

Carl Andre (Quincy, Massachusetts, 1935 - , Quincy, Massachusetts) Primary

Object Type: sculpture
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Copper
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1983
Accession Number: 1983.11

During the past thirty years a number of artists explored the formal vocabulary of abstraction for its own sake by restricting content, structure, color and brushwork to an unprecedented degree. The earliest examples of this austere response were partly made in opposition to the bold dynamics of the abstract expressionist canvas, while more recent works continue the use of this pared-down visual language to examine psychological and social concerns.
Carl Andre’s floor sculpture represents a direct investigation of space and materials through a minimalist aesthetic. Lying flat on the floor in an ordered geometric pattern, Fourth Copper Corner invites the viewer to examine how the work occupies space with presence rather than volume, revealing dimension around and above the piece. The flawed industrial character of the copper plates negates any pretention of classic sculptural processes, and focuses attention instead on the natural weathering of the material as a record of its own history.

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