Past is Present: Carl Andre at Paula Cooper Gallery

NEW YORK—Paula Cooper Gallery is presenting a unique opportunity to view “Redoubt,” an early, defining work by Carl Andre. When you enter the gallery, 100 pieces of precisely cut wood are lined up in four rows of 25 that extend from the right wall.

The work was first shown more than three decades ago. In the years since, the New York-based artist has drawn on the beauty and strength of natural materials to define his precise, rigorous configurations.

“Redoubt,” 1977 (100 western red cedar timbers).

When I observed the work, a class of art students was sitting along the left wall writing about the installation. A few stood at the front of the gallery taking in the linear arrangement. Interestingly, only one ventured to walk among the rows.

The exhibit is on view at the gallery’s 534 West 21st Street location from Oct. 27 through Dec. 15, 2012.

All photos © Arts Observer

The installation was originally created for a solo show at the Joseloff Gallery at the Hartford Art School in 1977.

Redoubt consists of 100 timbers. Each row is composed of 25 pieces of red cedar.

According to the gallery, “Andre started his career as a sculptor working with wood. In 1958-1959, he was carving wood timbers using a chisel or saw to create abstract pieces with geometric, often symmetrical patterns.”

Detail of “Redoubt.”

A triangular configuration of weathered hot-rolled steel.

According to the gallery, “In 1960, Andre started his Elements series, using identical timbers of equal size in various configurations. This series marks the moment when Andre definitively abandoned the manipulation of materials. He progressively moved on to materials such as granite, limestone, steel, lead and copper.”

Detail of triangular configuration composed of square steel tiles.

Detail of “Redoubt.”

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