Fred Sandback (1943–2003) created complex situations within specific spaces. These situations do not aim to cast theories or create representations of specific ideas: they are facts that occur in a concrete space and time, «The actuality is the idea.» (“Notes/Appunti”, Flash Art, no. 40 (March–May 1973), p. 14).
Sandback’s sculptures generate mutable qualities while retaining their precise formal characteristics, «Though the same substructure may be used many times, it appears each time in a new light.» (“Remarks on My Sculpture, 1966–86,” in Fred Sandback: Sculpture, 1966-1986, Munich: 1986, p. 13).
Proyectos Monclova presents Fred Sandback: The Properties of Light, featuring six sculptures in the gallery’s main space, alongside a comprehensive selection of works on paper using different techniques, which present a chronological overview. The latter are «a kind of preliminary notation, suggestions of possible ways of building and proportioning things» but also maintain an autonomous character, «drawings which are after the fact. These proceed from the given dimensions of the sculpture as executed rather than toward them—so in a way there is just as much room for free play there.» Sandback quoted in “An Interview: Fred Sandback and Stephen Prokopoff,” The Art of Fred Sandback: A Survey, Champaign-Urbana: Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, 1985.
The present exhibition, in collaboration with the Fred Sandback Estate, will extend beyond the gallery’s space to enter into a dialogue with Luis Barragán’s architecture. Sandback, who from early on knew the Mexican architect’s work, visited the Convento de Tlalpan (better known as Capilla de las Capuchinas) during his last trip to Mexico in 2002. The moment was a sublime experience for the sculptor and triggered a profound desire for further investigation. One phenomena that particularly caught the artist’s attention was a distinctive light-shadow play: natural light falls from the stained-glass window onto a wooden cross located at the side wall, casting a shadow of the religious symbol over the altar. Thus the shadow becomes an actual feature within the chapel, its shape and intensity transformed throughout the day.