While he is known primarily for his sculpture, Carl Andre also produced poetry from the early 1950s to the mid 1970s. Andre's poems, which were typed on a manual typewriter or hand-written, can also be read as drawings. They relate directly to the artist's three-dimensional work in that they incorporate the word as a compositional module, much like his signature use of bricks or metal plates. Loosely narrative in structure, the poems often include historical references and traces of autobiography. The poems obliquely evoke character and setting while incorporating various literary forms such as the sonnet, opera, or novel. Andre donated nearly 500 pages of his poetry to Chinati's collection, and the work was installed in its own building, in vitrines designed by the artist, in 1995.
Carl Andre was born in 1935 in Quincy, Massachusetts and currently lives in New York. Major exhibitions include: Carl Andre: Black Wholes, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2005); Carl Andre, Works on Land, Open Air Museum, Middelheim, Antwerp, Belgium (2001); The Complete Poems, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1994); Carl Andre - Sculpture, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy (1987); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1973); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1970).
On Carl Andre's Poems by Rob Weiner