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Carl Andre was born on September 16, 1935, in Quincy, Massachusetts. From 1951 to 1953 he attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, where he studied art under Patrick Morgan. After a brief enrollment in Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, Andre earned enough money working at Boston Gear Works to travel to England and France in 1954. The following year he joined U.S. Army Intelligence in North Carolina.
In 1957 he settled in New York and worked as an editorial assistant for a publishing house. Shortly thereafter he began executing wood sculptures influenced by Constantin Brancusi and by the black paintings of his friend Frank Stella. Andre was a leading member of the Minimalist movement, which coalesced during the early to mid-1960s. In addition to making sculpture, he began to write poems in the tradition of Concrete poetry, displaying the words on the page as if they were drawings. From 1960 to 1964 he was a freight brakeman and conductor for the Pennsylvania Railroad in New Jersey. Andre’s first solo show was held in 1965 at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York.
In the 1970s the artist prepared numerous large-scale installations, such as Blocks and Stones in 1973 for the Portland Center for the Visual Arts in Portland, Oregon, and outdoor works, such as Stone Field Sculpture in 1977 in Hartford, Connecticut. Notable among the many retrospectives of Andre’s work are those held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1970; the Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, Texas, in 1978; the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, in 1987; the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, in 1996; Musée Cantini, Marseilles, in 1997; the Open Air Museum Middelheim, Antwerp, in 2001; and Kunsthalle Basel in 2005. Andre lives and works in New York.