press release

This exhibition compares work by two of the most important contemporary American sculptors – Carl Andre and Tim Hawkinson. Both artists are actively working today but they are a generation apart. Carl Andre was beginning his career when Tim Hawkinson was born. Andre was one of the founders of the minimalist movement in American art in the 1960s; Tim Hawkinson studied the minimalists at university. While the differences between their sculptural styles and philosophies are stark, there are fascinating similarities as well.

Carl Andre, represented in the exhibition by the monumental Glarus Steel Slant, made his first metal plate floor piece in 1967 and invited viewers to walk on it. Along with other minimalist artists, including Donald Judd and Robert Morris, Andre championed a style that was characterized by multiple units making up a larger whole, industrial materials, and de-emphasizing personal and emotional content. His floor pieces revolutionized the way that viewers interacted with sculpture in a museum or gallery setting, adding a physical, tangible experience. Minimalism would dominate much of American sculpture through the 1970s.

Tim Hawkinson was born in 1960 and his idiosyncratic and inventive work cannot be linked to a distinct movement. He prefers representational forms, like the human body, and recognizable materials, like string and plastic detergent bottles. Illustrated by the three works in the exhibition, his work ranges in scale from miniatures to warehouse-sized installations. Hawkinson’s favorite subject is the human body, explored from the inside out. He has created huge internal organs out of balloons or tiny works cast from his body or literally made from his body with his fingernail parings and hair. His work has a distinctive handmade quality due to his unusual materials and his willingness to learn and use whatever process is necessary for his idea. Unlike Andre, Hawkinson patently explores the individual’s place, his own place, in the universe.

This exhibition is an opportunity to explore two poles of contemporary American sculpture, and in the process consider larger societal influences and art movements.

ASU Art Museum Presentation Organized by Heather Lineberry, CARL ANDRE / TIM HAWKINSON will be installed in the Arizona State University Art Museum’s Nelson Fine Arts Center location.

Carl Andre / Tim Hawkinson
Kurator: Heather Lineberry