Fred Sandback

Needle and Thread

Needle and Thread

It’s always great when someone compares my work to another artist’s, particularly when it’s an artist I’m not familiar with and have the thrill of discovering. In this case, someone saw this image and compared it to the work of installation artist (though he prefers to be called a “sculptor”) Fred Sandback, who worked with elastic cord and acrylic yarn to delineate or bifurcate three-dimensional space. Obviously, photography and thread sculpture don’t share the same relationship with space as one is two-dimensional and the other three, but both can draw the eye along line and form. When I work in black and white, my attention focuses on line and form, light and dark, eliminating the distraction of color. It’s all in the eye. I use light like a thread one follows into a dark room. For Sandback, his work was meant to be experienced in the third dimension, as opposed to seeing photographic reproductions of it. In a statement he made in 1999 about his own work he says:

“I left the model of [ ] discrete sculptural volumes for a sculpture which became less of a thing-in-itself, more of a diffuse interface between myself, my environment, and others peopling that environment, built of thin lines that left enough room to move through and around. Still sculpture, though less dense, with an ambivalence between exterior and interior. A drawing that is habitable.”


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