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(Un)Holy Grounds: The Floor Sculptures of Carl Andre and Wolfgang Laib
by Klaus Ottmann

At first sight, the works of Carl Andre and Wolfgang Laib seem worlds apart—and not just geographically or in terms of the artists’ ages (Andre was born in 1935 in Quincy, Massachusetts; Laib in Metzingen, Germany, in 1950). Despite the fact that Andre denies any meaning beyond matter, while Laib endows his sculptures with transcendent, spiritual significance, their approaches to materiality are surprisingly similar: both are involved in a materialist formalism that rejects the old dichotomy between idea and matter, replacing it with a new model in which materiality becomes the central focus for a multifaceted formal exploration.

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