Andre, Carl. Five Postcards. Los Angeles: Otis Art Institute, 1977.
Five 4 x 6 inch postcards offset printed in black and white with original mailing envelope. Fine.
Alistair Rider, author of the new definitive monograph on Carl Andre recently published by Phaidon, uses this sequence of postcards as the introductory image of the book, describing them at length and concluding that, “there are few other sets of images that clarify more succinctly or so effortlessly the salient characteristics of Andre’s art.” Andre’s most characteristic sculptures, metal grids placed on the floor, are universally regarded as immensely influential and important works of contemporary art, yet Andre’s body of work is surprisingly little know beyond these iconic sculptures. This is especially true of his various publications, yet his writings, poetry, photographic books, and other ephemeral works (such as this set of postcards) are an essential part of his output. They set the stage for other work, drawing attention to such issues as materiality, sequencing, and concern for space that are fundamental to Andre’s aesthetics, while (uniquely in his work) providing a glimpse into the mental processes and personal history underlying his art. This sequence of images is a clear and concise statement that belies the commonplace format in which it appears.