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Fred Sandback: Vertical Constructions

This new publication marks the first comprehensive survey of a seminal body of work that helped make Fred Sandback into the internationally celebrated artist he has become known as today.

This catalogue, published on the occasion of the exhibition at David Zwirner, New York, in the fall of 2016, takes its lead from a 1987 mid-career presentation of Sandback’s work at Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster, also called Vertical Constructions. With a mixture of archival imagery of the sculptures in situ in Münster, and new photography of these works installed at Zwirner, this publication is both a historical document and a source of renewed attention to this body of work. It also features an expanded selection of sculpture, going beyond what was presented in the 1987 and 2016 exhibitions, to include key examples of vertical constructions spanning Sandback’s career.

New scholarship by Yve-Alain Bois revisits his leading argument that was put forth in his essay for the 2005 Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein catalogue about the power of Sandback’s immateriality—its ability to linger in our memories—in the context of the vertical constructions. Lisa Le Feuvre, a longtime scholar of sculpture, offers a more historical treatment of the show in relation to the artist’s writings and other works. Also included is a text by David Gray, who responds to Marianne Stockebrand’s original essay about the Münster installation; he reveals the dialogues around Sandback’s practice at the time and helps us reconstruct the way the influence of his vertical works has continued to grow in the thirty years since.

“Architects draw in space in order to bring it under control, shaping it so that we may better orient ourselves in relation to our surroundings–Sandback, by contrast, wove his lines through space to activate it, and to remind us of our own role in helping bring it to life.”

– Julian Rose, ARTFORUM

“We are accustomed in art to seeing line as the contour, demarcation and boundary of a form; but at his best, Sandback transforms yarn into pure abstract color movements—simultaneously edge, energy, spine, vein. He transmutes void into volume.”

– Lance Esplund, Wall Street Journal

“Radiant exhibition”

– Thomas Micchelli, Hyperallergic

“Fred Sandback’s artworks aren’t standalone masterpieces, in that they simply can’t stand alone.”

– Staff, Centre

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