Carl Andre, Handwritten Postcard to the Artist's Parents, 1974
Handwritten Postcard to the Artist's Parents, 1974
Letter handwritten with black marker on postmarked, stamped postcard
4 1/10 × 5 4/5 in
10.4 × 14.7 cm
Unique piece of art historical ephemera. This is a stamped, postmarked postcard from Germany dated June 26, 1974, handwritten by Carl Andre to his parents Mr. and Mrs. G.H. Andre in Massachusetts. It was acquired from the collection of Andre's parents - Mr. and Mrs. George Hans Andre - so provenance is terrific. (Andre famously attended Phillips Exeter Academy in Massachusetts, his home state, as did another famous alum - Frank Stella, though they would not actually meet until years later). The image of postcard depicts "KOLN" Germany. In the 1970s, Minimalist Art was the rage - perhaps more so in Europe than the US, and Andre loved to travel to Europe. (His present wife, as an anecdotal aside, artist Melissa Kretschmer, is currently also represented by Carl Andre's longtime dealer Konrad Fischer in Germany.) Andre's letter, not unexpectedly, is written in the artist's quintessential laconic style - in all caps. It reads,
June 26, 1974/ HELLO- ANGELA & I ARE SITTING IN THE SHADOW OF THE GREAT CATHEDRAL HERE - WE GO TO BRUSSELS TOMORROW & THEN TO ANTWERPEN & BACK TO NEW YORK ON MONDAY - WE HOPE - THE FOOD IS SINFULLY RICH IN BELGIUM - BUT WE PLAN TO DO PENANCE IN NY - LOVE & BE WELL. @
Interesting factoid: Andre signed his name with the trademark @ decades before Twitter and the current internet conventions. Kind of eerily prescient. Second factoid: Who is Angela? Well, long before Andre's ill-fated marriage years later to Ana Mendieta, one of the women he dated in the 1970s was Angela Westwater, (now a famous, well-heeled, well-married art dealer at Sperone-Westwater), who, like so many other women in the business, began her career as an assistant at Virginia Dwan Gallery. Sperone-Westwater specializes in Minimalist art, and one of the founders of the gallery was the late Konrad Fischer -- Carl Andre's longtime, and incredibly loyal European dealer. (Fischer Gallery now represents Andre's present wife.) Another anecdotal aside: Years later, regarding the the Ana Mendieta story - Andre's former companion Angela Westwater, who is mentioned in the present piece of correspondence, was quoted in the press as saying that Carl Andre was verbally abusive to her - but not physically. (i.e. The New Yorker, profile "The Materialist", 12/2011).
In good vintage condition with expected wear. This postcard was mailed from Europe to the US and saved for nearly half a century.
Provenance: Acquired from the collection of Carl Andre's parents