144 Pieces of Zinc

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Carl Andre (American, b. 1935)
144 Pieces of Zinc, 1967
Zinc plates
each plate: 12 × 12 × 3/8 in. (30.48 × 30.48 × 0.95 cm)
Purchase, National Endowment for the Arts Matching Funds M1969.22
Photo credit: Larry Sanders
© Carl Andre/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Currently on View

Carl Andre was a founder of the Minimalist sculpture movement of the early to mid-1960s. Profoundly classical in feeling, his sculptures are infused with a sense of timelessness due to Andre’s use of simple geometric forms. His emphasis on the elementary features of sculpture – material, mass, space, volume and gravity – helped to redefine the medium by questioning the notion of sculpture as object. Rejecting the convention of placing sculpture on a pedestal, Andre instead focused on a site-oriented approach, calling his work “sculpture as place” rather than “sculpture as form.” His floor pieces, including 144 Pieces of Zinc, invite viewers to occupy the work’s space by walking on it, thereby creating a spatial dialogue between the viewer and the sculpture. He uses industrially prefabricated components and enables the viewer to experience the very essence of the material.

Publication History
Gourley, Janet. Can I walk on it? Entry posted May 30, 2012. http://blog.mam.org/2012/05/30/can-i-walk-on-it/ (accessed October 28, 2014). Andera, Margaret, Nonie Gadsden, Britt Salvesen, and Laurie Winters. Collection Guide: Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 2004, pp. 38, 70, cat. 60, color illus. p. 38. Sobel, Dean. From Figure to Floor: Sculpture in the 20th Century from the Collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1998, p. 64, cat. 2, b/w illus. 40. Rosenthal, Mark. Abstraction in the Twentieth Century: Total Risk, Freedom, Discipline. New York, New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Spring 1996, color pl. 180. Goldstein, Rosalie, ed. Guide to the Permanent Collection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1986, p. 227, b/w illus. p. 227. University of Chicago. Objects and Logotypes: Relationships Betwenn Minimalist Art and Corporate Design, Renaissance Society. Chicago, Illinois: 1980, cat. (listed in catalogue booklet) Institute of Contemporary Art. The Reductive Object. Boston, Massachusetts: 1979, cat. 2, repro. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Carl Andre. New York, New York: 1970, cat. 23. (listed as 144 Zinc Plates) The Art Institute of Chicago. 69th American Exhibition. Chicago, Illinois: 1970, cat. 4, repro. 7. Pennsylvannia State University. Andre/Flavin/Judd/Lewitt/Morris. University Park, Pennsylvania: 1969. (zinc incorrectly labeled as steel on illustrated poster/catalogue) Milwaukee Art Center. Options. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 1969, cat. 5, repro. 10.
Exhibition History
The American Century: Art and Culture 1900-2000, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, September 26, 1999-February 27, 2000. From Figure to Floor: Sculpture in the 20th Century, Milwaukee Art Museum, September 11 – November 8, 1998. Abstraction in the Twentieth Century: Total Risk, Freedom, Discipline, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York, February 8-May 12, 1996. Objects and Logotypes: Relationships Betwenn Minimalist Art and Corporate Design, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, January 20-February 22, 1980. The Reductive Object, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts, March 7-April 29, 1979. Carl Andre, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York, September 28-October 22, 1970 (and subsequent travelling exhibition). 69th American Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, January 17-February 22, 1970. Andre/Flavin/Judd/Lewitt/Morris, Pennsylvannia State University, Hetzel Union Gallery, University Park, Pennsylvania, April 6-May 20, 1969. Options, Milwaukee Art Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 22-August 18, 1969.


This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.