Fred Sandback: Being in a Place
Edited by Friedemann Malsch and Christiane Meyer-Stoll. Essays by Yve-Alain Bois and Thierry Davila.
As a student at Yale, Fred Sandback struggled with sculpture until George Sugarmann told him "if you are so sick of the parts, why not just make a line with a ball of string and be done with it." For the rest of his career, Sandback used taut and resonant strings to sculpt space and light. Ephemeral and site-specific, his Minimalist sculptures, familiar to visitors to Dia:Beacon among other museums, use colorful acrylic yarn strung between the ceiling and floor or into the corners of an exhibition space to interrupt and delineate space, refer to drawing, evoke volume, create magical boundaries that beg to be traversed, and give the viewer occasion to pause and consider. His clusters of lines can seem to create walls or doors, or make the space reverberate like the body of an instrument whose strings have just been plucked. The artist himself called them "pedestrian spaces" by which he meant to describe both the viewer as a passerby and his art as an everyday thing. Following his death, his remaining works feel less pedestrian, less everyday, more precious and more ephemeral, each irreplacable one ready, as many have, to revert to a tangle of threads.