Using subtle methods and an economy of materials, Fred Sandback’s work creates striking perceptual effects in response to the surrounding architecture. Using store-bought spools of colored yarn, Sandback traced the space between different points on floors, ceilings, and walls, creating shapes and constructing the illusion of a pane of glass or shimmering lines of color. Previously on view since the opening of Dia Beacon in 2003, and following a pause of three years, a long-term installation of several of Sandback’s yarn works from Dia’s collection returns to the galleries in winter 2021.
For his first presentation at Dia Beacon, which is how the works continue to be installed, Sandback seamlessly integrated older works with newer ones to orient and ground the viewer in a particular place, a specific situation. Selected from his deliberately circumscribed lexicon, each sculpture was chosen for its installation at this site: “I don’t feel that once a piece is made, then it’s done with,” he explained. “I continue to work with older schemata and formats, and often begin to get what I want out of them only after many reworkings. Though the same substructure may be used many times, it appears each time in a new light.” Thus, the artist intuitively adjusted a work’s proportions and measurements depending on other works placed in conversation with it and its site of display.