by p.c. smith
a gallery tip sheet
Feb. 1-March 1997
Dominated by works made between 1966 and
1977 on loan from the Guggenheim Museum's
Panza acquisitions, this exhibition still
manages a few surprises. For Zinc Ribbon
(1969), a three-inch-wide strip of sheet
metal is wound in a loose irregular spiral
on the floor. Two new, 1997 works--a
vertical stack of 18 off-white sand-lime
blocks, and a horizontal version of the
same--were each shown gleaming dimly in
small, unlit rooms. Also shown were
photographs by the late Hollis Frampton of
Andre sculpture made between 1958 and 1963.
These show a progression from Brancusi-like
cleft wooden columns to increasingly
regular structures of metal. They help one
understand the authoritative impression
made by Andre's first mature works.
Andre's best work activates the space that
it is in, and the Ace Gallery's Egyptian
tomb sanctums make congenial partners.
Unfortunately, both celebrate conspicuous
consumption--though only of empty space, in
a glorification of passive neutrality. And
again: what the world needs now isn't more
rectangular grids, but rather an
exploration of more fluid architectures.