carl andre

The following nine questions were drafted by Jack Risley and John Zinsser in April of 1990 and submitted to Carl Andre in written form. Andre’s responses of May 19, 1990 follow.


1. A question about political content and meaning: Is there a continuing embrace of a particular subject in your work? Should your work be seen as the exemplification of a political theory?

2. Given your personal political philosophy, what room does it give for the manner in which the work is actually configured? How does your ideology inform the configuration?

3. Does being an artist bestow one with a specific authority in our society?

4. Given that your work is believed to have a political nature, how do you feel about the role it assumes in the art world: as commodity with dollar value attached?

5. What, in your mind, is the difference between public and private art? What obligation does the artist have to the public?

6. You were an artist at one time associated with a particular peer group. Now the public my perceive you as more out on your own, isolated and apart. How does this affect your working methodology?

7. For you, what form can dialogue now take? Is there a place for dialogue in your work?

8. Does your work come out of a particular time, respond to a particular cultural moment? How should it be seen in relation to history?

9. What properties in materials do you identify with? Why do you continue to use the same materials? What is it that changes in your work from piece to piece?


3. Money bestows authority in our society.

4. In any society, people exchange goods & services in order to survive.

5. A society which cannot afford clean, attended public facilities does not deserve public art.

8. By the age of five, human temperament is determined.

9. My formulation for sculpture (form-structure-place) left out out my main concern: matter.

7. It was less lonely when the Art Workers Coalition was meeting every week.

1. Art is about human fertility.

2. Donald Trump’s Atlantic City is exactly the destiny of America: a garbage dump for the idle rich & the idle poor.

6. Everyone is alone.

Text: © Copyright, Journal of Contemporary Art, Inc. and the authors.