Fred Sandback’s work, more clearly than any other artwork I know, speaks to the complexity of simultaneous presence and absence. The dis-equilibrium that these ethereal drawings evoke in us remind me most recently, at an experiential level at least, of Richard Serra’s monumental “Torqued Ellipses”. How odd that Sandback’s whispering haikus are capable of matching the visceral jolt of tonnes of corten steel.
Viewers’ tentative circumnavigation of Sandback’s delicate sculptures speaks not so much of a fear of entanglement in the delicate thread, but exposes their intuition of some real but indiscernible presence in the implied plane, as palpable as that of glass. As viewers we become almost hyper-aware of our position vis-à-vis the sculptures. Everything slows as we adjust to this newly attuned sense of our extremities, our edge, our own spatial implications.