Texts by Yve-Alain Bois, Thierry Davila, Thomas McEvilley, and Christiane Meyer-Stoll
The life's work of the "string artist," Fred Sandback, whose installations transformed gallery spaces in magical ways.
Often momentary, elusive, and always absolutely real, the Minimalist sculptures by American artist Fred Sandback (1943-2003) create a complex mixture of lines, planes, and volumes that seem astonishingly present and entirely illusory. Colorful acrylic yarns are strung between ceiling, floor, walls, and corners of an exhibition space, giving the viewer occasion to pause, creating magical boundaries and volumes that one is able to traverse. Sharply delineated lines seem like the edges of glass planes, or cause the space to reverberate like the strings of an instrument. Sandback himself referred to his sculptures operating in pedestrian space, acknowledging both the viewer's movement through a space and as something to be engaged actively. Sandback's works of art have been correctly described as "nomadic," his installations happen in the here and now, requiring the viewer to physically and mentally determine a standpoint.