Carl Andre
Cuts, 1967

“Cuts” is one of the essential works of New Art. Never before had an artist created a sculpture that had applied fundamental democratic principles to such an extent and had such a corresponding effect on the observer. There are no hierarchical aspects in this powerful work. The elements it is made up of – standardized concrete capstones – are all the same, have the same value and create the whole in unison. They occupy the same level as the observer and, given their dimension and horizontal extension, demand the observer’s active approach. Every shift in viewpoint opens up new perspectives for the recipient onto multiple facets of this apparently homogenous whole.

“Cuts” is made up of a serial placement of 1232 rectangular stones that combine to form a compact field with eight “cuts”. The surface area of each cut is identical; their form aries between a line and an almost square rectangle. In each case 30 stones were omitted; however, the openings’ various constellations make it difficult to directly encrypt the principle.

As a central work of Minimal Art, illustrations of “Cuts” can be found in many publications. But the work could not be experienced for a long time. After the legendary exhibition in 1967 at the Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, the stones then served their function as construction material. Urs Raussmüller purchased the concept from the artist, had the 4 x 8 x 16 inch concrete capstones imported from the USA to Schaffhausen and in May 2000 constructed “Cuts” (with a total weight of more than 16 tons) in the Hallen für Neue Kunst.