Fred Sandback

25 May 2011 – 14 Aug 2011

Cost of entry


Whitechapel Gallery

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Bus: 25, 205, 254
  • Tube: Aldgate East / Aldgate
  • Train: Liverpool Street

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A radical approach to sculpture pioneered by artists in the 1960s, so called minimalist, conceptual and land art, used material and space to create an expanded field of perception. One such pioneer was American artist Fred Sandback (1943—2003) who, using the most modest materials, transforms the ‘white cube' of the gallery into an exploration of line, plane and volume. The setting of Gallery 2 provides the stage for Sandback's sculpture made from coloured yarn. Scaled to meet the dimensions of this cruciform coffered room, lines of yarn are employed, like three-dimensional drawings, to define planes and volumes with no mass. Using nothing but ‘air and edges' he magically alters our experience of the space. Sandback's work appeals to the eye and the brain in equal measure. Seemingly austere and cerebral at first sight, the sensitive use of colour and highly attuned sense of proportion create a surprisingly rich and sensual experience; in his words, ‘the inherent mysticism resides in persisting in wanting to make something as factual as possible and having it turn out just the other way… the realisation that the simplest and most comfortable of perceptions are shadows'. Represented in leading museums worldwide, Sandback's large-scale installation is a highlight of any visit to Dia:Beacon, New York. This installation, conceived in close collaboration with the Sandback Estate, makes it possible to see his work in London.

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