Skip to main content

Carl Andre

Twenty-Ninth Copper Cardinal

Not on view




Overall: 3/16 × 20 × 20in. (0.5 × 50.8 × 50.8 cm) Overall: 3/16 × 580in. (0.5 × 1473.2 cm)

Accession number

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Gilman Foundation, Inc. and the National Endowment for the Arts

Rights and reproductions
© Carl Andre / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Carl Andre’s Twenty-Ninth Copper Cardinal is composed of twenty-nine identical, interchangeable square copper plates set on the floor, thus challenging the basic premises of traditional sculpture—its verticality, above all. Laid down next to each other, the unattached plates abut a wall at one end. The work belongs to the series Copper Cardinals, which Andre began in 1973. All are composed of square plates, arranged in linear format if the number of units constitutes a prime number (for example, twenty-nine), or in rectangular format if it does not. Andre, who wanted the viewer to walk on his floor plate pieces, referred to the long format of Twenty-Ninth Copper Cardinal specifically as a “causeway”: “They cause you to make your way along them or around them or to move the spectator over them.” For the viewer, walking the sculpture’s length, either toward or away from the wall, is a performative act. In the context of a museum, where touching works of art is prohibited, standing on a sculpture is unexpected and transgressive.  



A 30-second online art project:
LaTurbo Avedon, Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror

Learn more

All visitors aged 12 and older must show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for admission to the Whitney, in accordance with NYC requirements. Visitors aged 18 and older will also be asked to show photo ID. Face coverings are required for all visitors. Learn more about the Whitney’s safety guidelines.