Opening on November 22, 2006, Zwirner & Wirth and David Zwirner will present concurrent exhibitions of sculptures and drawings by the American artist Fred Sandback (1943-2003). Surveying the artist's uniquely focused career, this will be the first large-scale exhibition of Sandback's work organized in the United States since it was presented at Dia Center for the Arts, New York in 1996-1997. Known for sculptures that outline imaginary planes and volumes in space with colored yarn, Sandback's work is informed by a rigorously minimal artistic vocabulary. This two-part exhibition will trace the development of his practice, with works dating from 1967 to 2003.
Though Sandback employed metal and elastic cord in his earliest works, the artist would soon dispense almost entirely with the mass and weight of materials by using acrylic yarn to create sculptures that produce perceptual illusions while also addressing their physical surroundings and the "pedestrian space," as Sandback called it, of everyday life. Throughout the course of his career, yarn would enable the artist to elaborate on the phenomenological experience of space and volumes with unwavering consistency and ingenuity. As Thomas McEvilley notes, "like a patient and conscientious researcher Sandback made his way through the world of art and space by careful and precise steps–yet found a route that was peculiarly his own and has a certain claim to uniqueness in his overall idea of a sculpture with no inside, no relationship between surface and interior."¹ The exhibition will examine the broad scope of formal invention that the artist was able to achieve with this restricted idiom of yarn lines in space. Sandback's sculptural compositions are comprised of lengths of yarn stretched horizontally, vertically, or diagonally in a variety of configurations that include rectangles, triangles, U-shapes, and floor-to-ceiling vertical lines. The works on view range from smaller-sized wood wall reliefs to constructions that encompass entire rooms, thus demonstrating how the artist was able to create this signature vocabulary of forms in different combinations and scales.