Fred Sandback was born in Bronxville, New York where, as a young man, he made banjos and dulcimers. He majored in philosophy at Yale University before studying sculpture with Donald Judd and Robert Morris. He received a BFA in 1966 and... [more]
Fred Sandback was born in Bronxville, New York where, as a young man, he made banjos and dulcimers. He majored in philosophy at Yale University before studying sculpture with Donald Judd and Robert Morris. He received a BFA in 1966 and an MFA in 1969 from the Yale School of Art.
Sandback's first one-person exhibitions were at the Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf, and the Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, both in 1968. Following this debut, Sandback exhibited widely his hyper minimalist sculptures and prints (which he called Isometric Drawings for Vertical Constructions) in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. His artwork was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennale exhibition of 1968, the Biennale of Sydney in 1976, and the Biennial Exhibition of American Artists at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979. In 1981 the Dia Art Foundation initiated and maintained a museum of his work, The Fred Sandback Museum in Winchendon, Massachusetts, which was closed in 1996. DIA presented exhibitions of his works in 1988 and in 1996–97. In 2003, several large Sandback sculptures were permanently installed at DIA's museum in Beacon, New York.
Sandback's yarn/wire/string sculptures define edges of virtual shapes that ask the viewer's brain to perceive the rest of the form. In that way his work can be considered visionary or imaginative, as well as minimal and literal. Indeed Sandback was fond of installing "corner" pieces whose shadows assist with this form completion process. In describing his work he stated, "It's a consequence of wanting the volume of sculpture without the opaque mass that I have the lines." and "I did have a strong gut feeling from the beginning though, and that was wanting to be able to make sculpture that didn't have an inside."
Fred Sandback committed suicide in his studio at the age of 59. [show less]