Contemporary Museums Denver

Fred Sandback

Precise Lines

Fred Sandback show recreated at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Fred Sandback show recreated at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

DENVER – October 18, 2011

Fred Sandback’s work is at the Museum of Contemporary Art until the 23rd of October. Until then the museum is filled with lines drawn in yarn — big lines, very precisely drawn in acrylic yarn.

Fred Sandback’s Three Story Installed Yarn

A line pulls you into the main floor gallery and points to a square drawn in yard that is attached in two points to the wall and two points to the floor. The lines are different colors, but all the same in that they are made of yarn. If it is two, three or four strands of yarn you hardly notice until you’re seen several rooms of these shapes drawn in yarn. By that time you’re noticing everything.

You notice as you walk down the hallway that the EXIT sign is not exactly hanging level. Some of the electrical plates on the floor, beautifully machined as they are, are not quite installed impeccably. The floor shows sign of uneven color that isn’t entirely interesting.

Detail of Fred Sandback’s Yarn Sculpture

I came to see this show, after tromping through the Fall Home and Garden Show at the Convention Center. There, I had gotten into a long discussion with the saleswoman from Kwal Paints who had a very nice booth that included a simulated room – a corner essentially – painted more elaborately than most people paint their rooms, but that showed off the bright bold colors the company offers.

Many colors were used to paint the ‘room’ in a very hard-edge, geometric design, and the woman asked me if I liked it. Yes I did, I said, but I think the painter should have been more precise where two colors joined and should have chosen a different style of molding to join the corner. The woman was appalled that I’d be so critical.

Then I went to see Fred Sandback. His work is about precision – a lost art apparently. It is nothing like the Home and Garden Show.