Carl Andre – ‘Works of Art Don’t Mean Anything’ | TateShots

Carl Andre – ‘Works of Art Don’t Mean Anything’ | TateShots

When you really think about it, don’t we
start on the floor, when you’re an infant? And slowly we rise a little bit and finally
we can stand and then maybe we can walk but we start on the floor, so I just wound up
where I started. I work on location, you know, very much in the movie sense. I’m not a studio artist, I’m a location artist. I’ve said mostly just the world is my studio. I work where I’m going to have the show or the exhibition. When I first started I did make drawings and
things like that, but I found when I arrived at the place I was going to make the show,
at the gallery or whatever that I had to rip up my drawings anyway and start from the beginning. So I said, rather than trying to recreate what you had imagined in the studio I’d much rather go to the place and react or act with the materials and the location where it is. I have, over the years, minimised structure as much as possible in my work. I mean, the typical pieces made of squares of metal, very often they’re not joined together permanently,
they’re just laid out. I don’t think I’ve ever made a serious sculpture in which the parts were fixed together in any way. I always assure people, there are no ideas hidden under those plates, those are just metal plates. They’re sitting there on the floor minding their own business. They’re not thinking, they’re free of ideas and it’s just an experience. One Monday morning, the big headline on this tabloid newspaper was: what a load of rubbish. It was on the television and everything how outrageous this work was, you can’t make art
out of bricks. People saying, you can’t that’s terrible, it’s an outrage. Americans understand the way Europeans and English don’t bad publicity is as good as good publicity. It’s not whether it’s nice. I mean, if they say it’s nice and that’s all, it’s no good. If they go on for hours and hours saying how terrible it is, that’s good. I have a theory that when kids learn to read they start making art because something has to mean something. Works of art don’t mean anything, they are realities. What does reality mean? It’s there. Because our culture tends to turn everything into language we lose sight of the actual being of things. When I was a kid at school, you know how you have an art period, I loved doing art and when I told anybody, of course everybody loves doing art, that’s play, that’s play. Yes, it’s play, but it’s very important, serious play. We are surrounded by stimulus and we are always responding to it one way or another so I think my work is an expression of some of my earliest experiences as much art is.

Dereck Turner

48 thoughts on “Carl Andre – ‘Works of Art Don’t Mean Anything’ | TateShots

  1. Icreatemore says:

    I've seen his work along with a lot of others but he is the only one I remember.  Why is that?

  2. S. D. says:

    What else happened in that apartment ?

  3. chairchalk says:

    thanks again for the introduction
    and the heavy lifting

  4. Goldylock goldylocks says:


  5. LockedPig says:

    Miserable pile of rubbish

  6. jodyana blacklawrey says:

    your arts actually really dum .  its not even conceptually clever – 

  7. Pea Oat says:

    Most negative comments are hard to read due to the poor grammar. Big surprise!

  8. Llio Scott Borntobewild says:

    MURDERER! Hes only on this video now because u.s justice is misoginist!!!

  9. Faith Pallett (Student) says:

    Where is Ana Mendieta?

  10. hinke eleveld says:

    making art out of bricks is really breaking down the wall between art and reality. Love it!

  11. 06icebat says:

    Thanks Tate but he also killed Ana Mendieta!!! Maybe it's time to get her work out of your archives

  12. Jose Rosales says:


  13. Teodora Doncheva says:

    Where is Ana Mendieta?

  14. Diaotic Haze says:

    Wheres ana

  15. Varda Artists Residency says:

    Where is Ana Mendieta?

  16. Stunami says:

    The most astonishing part of this artist is how he is able to live with himself. —>

  17. Carolina Carosone says:

    Killing someone doesn't means anything needer in world of art. #whereisAnaMendieta

  18. D. Gata says:


  19. Pat Gee says:

    no , YOUR And fellow Modern Art communists works of art don't mean anything except reversing good.

  20. Art Books says:

    interesting interview….i did a review of his book "Quincy" on my channel… 🙂 xoxo

  21. Dune Deraux says:

    Love these series about great artist.

  22. Vinay Seth says:

    'What a load of rubbish'- I empathize with the writer of that headline, though I would not have gone so far as to be completely dismissive of someone's work or idea. Andre's work does indeed look self-contained and solipsistic.

    And somehow, it doesn't sit well that in a world where architects and engineers, for instance, work hard and toil for hours, here's someone just laying out bricks and tiles on the floor, that too in a non-evocative manner.

    I don't have any tussles with conceptual art or minimalism, but believe that it needs to be evocative to qualify as 'art' in the first place. I love James Turrell's work for instance. It's evocative, and is a sensory experience that draws you in. With Andre, I see that things are just lying there. And if that's his ultimate message- then why should the viewer care at all? And why give him all that money when all he has to say is that things are just lying there?

  23. John Brocado says:

    You killed somebody!

  24. Ozzie Mesa says:


  25. Donovan Rose says:

    seems the wrong artist went out the window.

  26. Oblique Frontline says:

    Literal murderer

  27. Jacqueline Gomez says:

    This man murdered his wife. Why does the Tate support him?

  28. SamM 21 says:

    Your "art" don't mean anything…

  29. Van Dolmatzis says:

    ultimate hipster beard

  30. David Castro Almeida says:

    Mendieta should be alive talking about her art in this video…but was murdered.

  31. Diana Cabreja says:


  32. Joe Rodriguez says:

    That Carl dude killed that feminist artist

  33. Almostfancyconnoisseur says:

    his beard means something…it's a shy beard looking down at the floor

  34. MEONLYBRO says:

    He's my grandma's brother

  35. Nina Dubois says:

    Where is Ana Mendieta?

  36. avalanchesoul says:

    judging by what's shown here i am not surprised by that neckbeard. talk about bad taste, no style, and no skill. It's more like HIS art don't mean anything lol.

  37. amanda omodei says:


  38. Christopher Swimmings says:

    What a sack of shit!

  39. Michał Płaczek says:

    I wish Ana Mendieta was still alive

  40. Julia Castro says:


  41. adrian sibley says:

    Are you fucking kidding me?

  42. 77777aol says:

    The brick guy ! Nice to put Andre's interesting face to those bricks.

  43. 04mapa says:

    #whereisanamendienta? ASESINO!

  44. Juan Jaimes says:

    Is your work also an expression of ending the life of Ana Mendieta?

  45. Phillip Marcus says:


  46. Shadow Of Desert says:

    The people says "where is Ana Mendietta", but they really think: I don't met you, don't care, but the rest of people think that you killing her, and she was a woman and you are a men, so you are a murder 100%

  47. Denis Dražetič says:


  48. Laz Arus says:

    Carl looks like one of those drawings of a face you could turn upside down and he would still look like a face. I want him to floor my kitchen.

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