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    Description

    Carl Andre (b. 1935)
    Merrymount, 1992
    Quincy granite
    24 x 54 x 6 inches (61 x 137.2 x 15.2 cm)

    THE COLLECTION OF ROBERT J. DODDS, III

    PROVENANCE:
    Paula Cooper, Inc., New York;
    Acquired by the current owner from the above, 1993.

    This lot is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the artist and an invoice from Paul Cooper, Inc.


    Carl Andre, who formally worked in the rail yards, was obsessed with steel, and taking obscure materials and objects and turning them into powerful works. His works were highly diverse, but the elements that exist between all of them is his use of time, space, and replication within the art. Andre, one of the founding fathers of American Minimalism, challenged the impulsiveness of abstract expressionism, choosing rather to create clean, reductive, thought provoking works and ideas. Heritage is offering this season Merrymount, Carl Andre's work created in 1992, made with a beautiful Quincy Granite. No carved or crafted marble, or fine and folded metallurgy. No sanded and finished oak or chestnut. Merrymount is a compilation of brutalist man-made granite blocks, materials one would find in the foundation of a building, or lining a wall.

    Time is such a powerful thing and has an emotional impact on people, as it is something constant and relevant to everyone. Vergne Phillipe observes that all of Andre's sculptures seem to want to make the element of time as tangible or as close to the viewer as possible. This is an example of the conceptualism that is prevalent in New York Minimalism. According to Vergne Philippe and Yasmil Raymond "Andre's sculptures are about the tension between space, time, and modes of representation and presentation. Within the wide richness and diversity of the work there is a common thread, which is the dimension of time." In Merrymount, as in most of Andre's sculpture, time is represented in the repetition of the granite block, as well as in walking the road. Andre often invited spectators to walk the length of his sculptures.

    Carl Andre, in addition to time, utilized gallery spaces and museum exhibition halls to construct art right there within the space. If the space was to reflect how the art might be interpreted, it is necessary to consider the space when creating art. Art is a process and the space is the studio that plays on it and bears witness to its creation. Andre mentions of the process and purpose of his sculptures and what he is attempting to achieve with the viewer. He references several of his great works, some designed right in the gallery space, of steel plates on the floor. He invites his viewers to walk his sculptures, to truly immerse into the idea he attempts to convey. Andre says:
    "All my works have implied, to some degree or another, a spectator moving along them or around them... this is really a sense of scale... My idea of a piece of sculpture is a road. That is, the road does not reveal itself at any particular point or from any particular point. Roads appear and disappear. We either have to travel on them or beside them."

    Merrymount presents as a cement walk path, one might find in a garden, construction site, or sidewalk. It protrudes from an illogical barrier, and by all accounts ends arbitrarily without having gone anywhere or come from anywhere. We logically and with order follow symmetrical and parallel lines with the assumption that they will take use somewhere. Andre challenges this and asks us why. The use of an exhibition space in the design and creation of the art can produce some inspired works. Andre mentions the importance of scale in order to gain the illusion of being on a road and grasping the vastness of roads. This interaction with the sculpture rests on how the sculpture and the viewer are presented in the space. Andre hopes that the use of the space and its interaction with the sculpture will achieve an understanding of the complexity of something taken for granted.

    Andre's relation to replication is not as apparent. 'We live in a world of replicas,' Andre once exclaimed to an interviewer in 1972, 'and I try desperately in a world of replicas to produce things that are not replicas of anything.' Andre's works seem to imply the possibilities of unlimited substitution or exchange amongst the granite blocks. It's about the accessibility and the challenge an idea provides, not the tangible product. Allowing the object to ask the question and pose the idea, but at the same time, no single object in this construction is the star. No focal points, no central visual element that draws the eye. Unlike abstract expressionism, Andre's works are not personal. They instead emote austerity.

    By the time Carl Andre hit the art scene in the 1960's, new attitude had been turning art on its head. The spectator is not given characters, but rather core elements to make of them what he can. This "art of the real," does not strive to be realistic, but to be as real in itself as the things we experience every day: like the road.




    Condition Report*: Work is in overall excellent condition.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    19th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,315

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