Galerie Hubert Winter

Fred Sandback
17. September – 13. November 2010
"Wenn das so ist", sagte Padmasambhava, "dann möchte ich ein Wolf sein".
"Und ich ein Rabe", sagte Feuer.
So geschah es; und damit fingen Leben an, wie es sie nie zuvor gegeben hatte.
Shantih shantih shantih
Die letzten Zeilen. In: Dietmar Dath, Die Abschaffung der Arten. Ffm, Suhrkamp, 2008.

Delacroix wrote in his diary, “Assuming you are capable of it in the first place, it takes a great deal of self-denial to be simple.”

Fred had a disarmingly simple approach to his work: He entered the room carrying a sample case containing different-colored acrylic yarn, sat down on a chair, stared for a long time, said nothing, left the room after a while for a walk, came back, sat down again, and stared… This process would last for roughly two days, and then the first acrylic threads would be hanging from the ceiling or be attached to the wall with adhesive tape. Fred worked alone, without any assistance. All he needed was a ladder and some tape. Once Fred was sure about how he wanted the finished work to look, he would take out some fine bass tubes from his acrylic yarn through them, “weld” the ends using glue, then select the right sized drill from this collection, drill tiny holes in the wall and floor, and insert the tubes, thereby spanning the threads. The installation was complete. After which normal conversation could be resumed.

Fred was gentle, Fred was fearless, Fred was noble, Fred was not afraid of anything, he did not need much to be happy. Fred spoke little, but when he did speak his words were full of color. For him the world was an animated place. Fred was a person who could see a long way, far beyond the horizon. Fred didn´t drink, and while we drank in order to see clearly he could already see everything with great clarity. He did not need words. And yet our talks-mainly conducted in German-when beyond art, extending into life and very often ending in the North Sea, a place for which Fred felt a great nostalgia, revealed his attitude to me. That´s what life is all about. His slim oeuvre, a solitaire in the fine art scene, occasionally described as minimal, is of immense opulence. He created rooms of great magic, some as richly colored fantasies. What at first sight appeared to be so touchingly simple becomes ever less so the longer one observes it. The rooms become transparent, lose their original meaning, they become self-contained, there is no flashback; each change of perspective allows the viewer new insights. It is quite simply strangely beautiful.

The only regret I have with regard to Fred Sandback is that I did not meet him earlier in life.

Hubert Winter. My Recollections of Fred Sandback. In: „Fred Sandback“, ed. Friedemann Malsch, Christiane Meyer-Stoll, Ostfildern-Ruit, Hatje Cantz, 2005
More information about Fred Sandback:

  • Review: 1.11.2010 (PDF)