Art Essay

Question:

The paper is about:

“Briefly discuss how Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII (1966) points to the transformation of sculpture within the context of Modern art.

Answers should be 150-180 words, and include two examples of works by two other artists seen in class.” Include the following examples:
1. Piero Gilardi, River Stones, 1966, polysterene
2. Marc Devade, Untitled (green), 1978, ink on canvas

Answer:

Transformation of Sculpture within the Context of Modern Art

Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII (1966) points to the transformation of sculpture particularly within the context of Modern art. The art work is a classic manifestation of minimalist sculpture that emerged in the 1960s as a reaction against abstract expressionist art of the 1950s. In coming up with Equivalent VIII (1966) Andre simply arranged 120 brick pieces together in a rectilinear position, stacked them into two layers, the assembled them. By using this eccentric approach Carl Andre joined a growing list of artists who had rejected the numerous mannered forms that emerged from expression before turning to minimalist sculpture for inspiration.

Two other artists who came up with art works that greatly contributed to the transformation of sculpture within the context of Modern art in more or less the same way as Andre are Piero Gilardi and Marc Devade. Gilardi came up with River Stones in 1966 using polystyrene while Devade came up with an untitled piece of work in 1978 using ink on canvas. These artistic masterpieces greatly contributed to the emergence of a phenomenon in which the period between 1960s and 1970s was regarded as a watershed as far as the fortunes of Modern Art were concerned. Like Andre, Gilardi and Devade created the impression of modern art as the relentless, progressive pursuit of sculptures that went against traditional taste. Andre’s Equivalent VIII triggered a controversial debate regarding the extent to which an artistic piece made in a simplistic manner and constructed using surprisingly few components could be considered not just an art form but also a highly successful one.

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