Fred Sandback

Biography of Fred Sandback

Minimalist, conceptual-based artist Fred Sandback was known for his sculptures that outlined space and altered a room’s set-up through their architectural presence. He was most recognized for his “leaning” works in which he diagonally suspended lengths of yarn or elastic cord between the wall and floor. Sandback used the most minimal means possible in his works, constructing geometric forms out of thin lines of material that changed the way in which viewers would interact with the space.


Born in 1943, Fred Sandback received a BA and BFA from Yale College, New Haven, where he majored in philosophy and sculpture from 1962 to 1967. During his career, he became known primarily as a Minimalist sculptor, and his work was compared to contemporaries such as Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and Carl Andre. Sandback was also a forerunner of installation art and has had a major influence on many of today’s artists.


Alongside his material sculptures, Fred Sandback also practiced printmaking. He often created drawings on mat board with knives. In their geometric simplicity, his prints reflect the delicate aesthetics of his sculptural work. Outlining an imaginary space, they are almost intangible. Through these works as well as Sandback’s sculptures, it is possible to recognize the influence that an early interest in stringed musical instruments had on his artistic practice. Sandback died in 2003 at age 60 and his estate is now represented by David Zwirner in New York.  


Fred Sandback’s work is held in the collections of major museums across the world including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main, National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Galerie Konrad Fischer in Düsseldorf, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitechapel Gallery in London and Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland. Several of his vertical construction pieces are also on permanent display at Dia:Beacon in New York.

Available Works: 6