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"There’s only a certain amount of control you can have over a situation. I’m interested in working in that area in which the mind can no longer hold on to things. The point at which all ideas fall apart."

Fred Sandback, Untitled (Sculptural Study, Seventeen-part Right-angled Construction), red acrylic yarn, 1985/2006 situational: spatial relationships established by the artist; overall dimensions vary with each installation, courtesy David Zwirner Gallery



"My knitting-yarn sculpture is a somewhat distant cousin to some other string games. Maybe the one that uses the most space is kite flying. But the one that is the oldest, and the most universal, is cat’s cradle. Indians, Eskimos, Bushmen, and many other cultures around the world have had games like cat’s cradle since before anyone can remember...Often cat’s cradle is about making a little place—just for yourself, or to share with can put it in your pocket when you’re busy with something else, and take it out again when you’re not. Although, as you can see, it’s not so hard to build big things like my sculpture. All it takes is a ball of string. If you were feeling a little adventurous, you could even wrap up your whole house."

Fred Sandback, Untitled (Red Floor Piece), 1/16-inch diameter red elastic cord and red acrylic on steel, 4.1 x 11.4 x 670.6cm: first iteration 1967 Summer Group Show. Yale School of Art and Architecture, New Haven, Connecticut (in Sandback's studio)



para 1: via Hyperallergic 2016 The Point at Which All Ideas Fall Apart: Fred Sandback: Grand Illusions 

para 2: via A Children’s Guide to Seeing by Fred Sandback, made to accompany his 1989 exhibition of yarn sculptures at the Houston Contemporary Arts Museum (also see On Needing A Place to Play and Letting Your Fingers Think)

current posthumous exhibition: Fred Sandback, Foundation CAB, Brussels, 7 September 2021 - 26 June 2022