Carl Andre's Poetry and the Mapping of Media

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This paper examines Carl Andre's relationship to different artistic media in the light of the fact that he has always maintained a commitment to writing poetry, in addition to producing sculpture. For various institutional reasons, it has been difficult to recognize these two activities as of equal significance. In the art world he enjoys a reputation as one of the most significant sculptors of minimalism, while among literary circles his poetry has received only nominal levels of legitimization. This has had a substantial impact on the ways in which his poetry has been discussed. It has been approached largely via his sculpture, either as a means of explaining his three-dimensional work, or as mirroring ‘sculptural’ qualities in textual form. While it is impossible to ignore the degree to which Andre's standing as a sculptor has forced his poetry into a subsidiary, supporting position, it is argued here that his interest in engaging with different media deserves further attention in its own right. Along with other artists of his generation, Andre has always been interested in mapping and defining how the arts relate to one another, a concern that gained additional relevance in the context of the rise in new media technologies in the late 1960s. It is this theme that provides the terms for a reading of his little-known poem from 1972, Stillanovel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-408
Number of pages11
JournalWord & Image
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Carl Andre, concrete poetry, medium, Eadweard Muybridge


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