Gallerynote 3/2007

May 22 to July 7, 2007

FRED SANDBACK (1943–2003) Sculptures & Drawings
'Over the years I have preferred the title 'sculptor'. I like the groundedness of it, referring back to my early love for the sculpture of Michelangelo, Rodin, and Henry Moore, for example. Early on though, I left the model of such discrete sculptural volumes for a sculpture which became less of a thing-in-itself, more of a diffuse interface between myself, my environment, and others peopling this environment, built of thin lines that left enough room to move through and around. Still sculpture, though less dense, with an ambivalence between exterior and interior. A drawing that is habitable.' Fred Sandback, 1998, quoted in 'Here and Now: Experiences in Sculpture', Henry Moore Institute, Leeds 1999.

In things he said or wrote, Fred Sandback (1943-2003) never resorted to posturing. He tried to formulate as precisely and clearly as possible what can be said with words. And when he employs the classical label 'sculpture' for his works, this is for good reason. As used in the history of art, the term clarifies which of the traditional attributes are present in Fred's work and those that are absent. Precisely that which could be booked as a loss represents the major achievement of the artist that surpasses conventions and covenants yet does not denounce the connection to the historical inventory. Instead of affirming or negating determined pretensions and requirements, these works open up an interaction with ambivalences that necessitates new courses of conduct and other self-appointed methods of action in order to transfer the indeterminate into the realm of the determinate. The form, the color and the dimensions of the artistic object, for instance, can thus only be defined from the concrete situation, from the existing conditions.

The renewable element – the sculpture – requires inventions and decisions that result in another imperative ensemble of conditions of the possibilities of artistic work to which the artist surrenders himself, as it were.

Form, material and space are placed in relation to one another to make the interdependent elements appear as a complex whole. The physical material of the sculptures, the acrylic yarn, is present, but it literally carries very little weight. The found architectural situation where the work is exhibited becomes part of the work and functions as its premise and prerequisite.

Since 1971, eleven solo exhibitions of Fred Sandback have been held in the spaces of the Annemarie Verna Galerie. The majority of the exhibitions were installed by the artist himself, such as in the 1996 and 2000 shows in the current premises at Neptunstrasse 42. This special legacy that has remained with us and with others as memories, as impressions and vivid experiences is to also be felt in this presentation of sculptures and drawings from the estate. Our thanks go to Amy Baker Sandback for having personally selected the pieces for this exhibition and overseen the installation of the works.

Works by Fred Sandback are currently also on view at
Kunstraum Alexander Bürkle, Robert-Bunsen-Str. 5, Freiburg i.B., Germany, and the
Metropol-Kunstraum, Georgenstrasse 40, Munich.


ART38 Basel
The areas of emphasis this year are groups of works by Fred Sandback (1943-2003) and by Richard Tuttle, James Bishop and Robert Mangold.