Gavin Delahunty On Carl Andre’s Poems

PLAN (Yucatan), 1972

Carl AndrePLAN (Yucatan), 1972Photocopy on typewriter paper, 27.9 x 21.5 cm



Although Carl Andre is best known for laconic things—obdurate sculptures made of metal or bricks, laid flat on the floor in symmetrical configurations—he has also made an art of words. Indeed, Andre is a prolific poet, and his poems have always played a crucial part in his work, their brilliant investigations of text and pattern making their way into exhibitions, extremely rare editions, and citations. Yet the poems remain largely unseen and unspoken to this day.

Delahunty will reveal an astonishing diversity of poetic form in Andre’s poems—from relatively straightforward five-line stanzas to more experimental, postlinear poems. He will bring to light Andre’s poetic voice—his emotive range, from impassioned and generous to melancholic. This event will enable attendees to gain unprecedented insight into the poems’ materiality, their conceptual development, the artist’s working methods, and the wider range of his interests.

As Head of Exhibitions and Displays at Tate Liverpool Gavin Delahunty has curated solo exhibitions by Charline von Heyl (2012) and Matt Saunders (2013). He is currently working on “Keywords: Art, Culture & Society in 1980s Britain”, a group exhibition centered around the writings of cultural critic Raymond Williams (spring 2014). Delahunty has been invited to talk on this subject due to his most recent editorial project, a catalogue raisonné of Carl Andre’s poems—forthcoming from Tate publishing.