A major representative of "Minimal Art" with Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Robert Morris and Dan Flavin, from the mid-1960s Carl Andre has offered a totally innovative vision. It is no exaggeration to say that he has changed the perception of sculpture in terms of form and structure.
Carl Andre is famous for his large sculptures made of metal plates placed directly on the ground on which visitors can walk without hindrance. With these works, he eliminates almost literally the volume that sculptors have always sought or modelled. Emphasizing the spatiality of a work in a paradoxical way (he gives a floor to the ground, in a way), he also opens the way to multiple interpretations of what constitutes a work and the relationship that people usually have with that work.
Carl Andre uses ordinary industrial products (copper, lead, zinc, tin, aluminium, magnesium as well as cement, plastic or wood) and the work shown in the Wunderkammer is no exception to this rule, since it is entitled Lead on Copper. Andre's purpose is not to seek any decorative function at all, whether pleasing or spectacular. In this work, there is an absence of decorative elements and poverty in the material used, offset by a desire to trigger a new perception in the beholder. By involving the viewer in the
work (by allowing him or her to wander around the work or even better by allowing it to trample over the work), he offers the possibility of understanding a space in a new way.
The work presented here, although modest in size, nevertheless challenges the usual presentation of a work and highlights the critical importance of space for any three-dimensional work. That said, he feels unconnected to the content or symbolism that is regularly associated with his work. His work is what it is. Industrial materials, subject to a mathematical rigour that reflect the processes of industrial production.
By placing his work on the ground, Andre knows it can be damaged over time but he is less interested in its longevity than in the situation created, which involves the viewer.
The creativity and complexity of the work of Carl Andre are absolutely fascinating and cannot be reduced to the restrained work presented here. Nevertheless, it was specifically chosen to show this work, as it weaves clear links with the exhibitions of Katrin Sigurdardóttir and Sarah Bostwick, but also constitutes a kind of zero-level of sculpture, which has all its meaning in a Wunderkammer ("cabinet of curiosities"), half-buried in the ground.