Fred Sandback (1943-2003) was an American artist known for sculptures that outlined planes and volumes in space. Though he employed metal wire and elastic cord early in his career, the artist soon dispensed with mass and weight by using acrylic yarn to create works that address their physical surroundings, the “pedestrian space,” as Sandback called it, of everyday life. By stretching lengths of yarn horizontally, vertically, or diagonally at different scales and in varied configurations, the artist developed a singular body of work that elaborated on the phenomenological experience of space and volume with unwavering consistency and ingenuity.
Sandback’s work has been exhibited internationally since the late 1960s. His first solo shows were held at Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf and Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, both in 1968 while the artist was still a graduate student pursuing his MFA at the Yale School of Art and Architecture. His work is on permanent display at Dia:Beacon, New York, and was the subject of an extensive survey organized in 2005 by the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz (which traveled to the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh and the Neue Galerie am Joanneum, Graz, in 2006). In 2011, his work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, dedicated its entire building to a solo exhibition of his work.
David Zwirner has shown Fred Sandback’s work since 2004. Since then, the gallery has presented five solo exhibitions of the artist’s work, including a 2012 exhibition of important sculptures and drawings from each decade of his career at the gallery’s New York location and a 2013 exhibition at David Zwirner’s new London location. In 2014, Kunstmuseum Winterthur hosted the first major retrospective of Sandback’s drawings curated by Dieter Schwarz. This exhibition subsequently travels to the Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop and Museum Wiesbaden.
Sandback’s work is represented in numerous public collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.