Carl Andre, ‘ddddddddddddddddfffffffffffffffffffffffff’, ca. 1958-1963, Phillips

Property from the Estate of Hollis Frampton

This work will be included in the upcoming publication: Carl Andre: The Complete Poems, A Catalogue Raisonné

From the Catalogue:
The present two lots, sun act star law set age stone hand cut bell time age now foot din and ddddddddddddddddfffffffffffffffffffffffff represent rare examples of Carl Andre’s typed poetry which date from the early 1950’s to the mid 1970’s. Known for his minimalist sculptures, Andre’s compositional typography builds with words in much the way his sculptures construct space with geometrical elements. Like sheet music, the spacing of the black ink juxtaposed with the stark white paper creates a visually rhythmic composition. Andre’s poems drop hints of literary structure and clues of historical references yet ultimately are abstract in content, eluding more to the calculated structure of an opera or sonnet and the soothing melodic visual nature of their final composition. Hollis Frampton, Andre's childhood friend, is referenced in a number of Andre’s poems, Frampton speaks on Andre’s writing in 1969, commenting “that words have spatial and plastic qualities along with their sonorous and associative properties, this was a discovery that exfoliated systematically in the space of pages divided by the typewriter into a uniform grid.”(Develing, Enno, Carl Andre, exh. cat., The Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands, 1969). Rob Weiner, director of the Chinati Foundation reflects that Andre’s “poems don’t always incorporate complete sentences, phrases, or even associative terms, but use words sequentially.” (Rob Weiner, On Carl Andre's Poems)

Andre recalls the original oral nature of poetry and the development of language in printed form, allowing verbal language to be transposed by hand, typewriter and ultimately computer. Andre explains, “for me, poetry has largely been a matter of writing and of reading and of printing and not a matter of singing…if poetry can be described as language mapped on an extraneous art and formerly it was language mapped on music, I think now that it is language mapped on some aspect of visual arts.” Words, according to Andre, "have palpable tactile qualities that we feel when we speak them, when we write them, or when we hear them, and that is the real subject of my poetry.”(Carl Andre, "On Literature and Consecutive Matters", unpublished manuscript of conversation with Hollis Frampton, December 8, 1962)
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: signed with the artist's signature and signed"ca carl andre" lower right; further inscribed "ca" on the reverse

The artist
Private Collection
Thence by descent to the present owner

About Carl Andre

Carl Andre is the overall-clad sculptor whom many historians consider a defining figure in the development of Conceptual and Minimalist art. Legend claims that Andre began his current practice after his close friend Frank Stella called the wooden castoffs of a project sculptural objects as well; Andre has also said that Constantin Brancusi was an instrumental influence. He first won public attention in the 1960s for his groundbreaking multi-part sculptures whose pieces were not fixed but lain directly onto the ground. In fact, Andre considers himself one of the first “post-studio” artists because he uses manufactured industrial materials that he does not alter, but rather arranges on-site; common materials include square plates or blocks made of aluminum, nickel, zinc, copper, steel, lead, limestone, and wood. Many of his arrangements are also based on arithmetic and geometry.

American, b. 1935, Quincy, Massachusetts, based in New York, New York