NARRATOR: Carl Andre is best known for minimalist sculptures composed of repeating elements. Their elemental nature was largely the point: he wanted viewers to experience materiality as directly as possible. He might create a grid of lead tiles, or a cube of stacked wooden beams. In both cases, the sculpture is exactly what it is and nothing more. These text-based pieces present words in a similar fashion. The viewer encounters them not as prose or poetry, but as the raw building blocks of language.
Andre worked on a manual typewriter using twelve-point Courier font to create systematic patterns of words and letters. GAZETTEER resembles a sheet of published type: justified at the left, ragged on the right, but the lines do not produce sentences. The words are detached from symbolism, narrative, grammar, or syntax.