• Grid
  • List

Collections> Browse > Am Am Not Am Not Willing

Collections> Browse > Am Am Not Am Not Willing

Image Rights
Courtesy Walker Art Center
Art © Carl Andre/VAGA, New York, NY


All content including images, text documents, audio, video, and interactive media published on the Walker website (walkerart.org) is for noncommercial, educational, journalistic and/or personal use only. Any commercial use or republication is strictly prohibited. Copying, redistribution, or exploitation for personal or corporate gain is not permitted.

For information on the use of reproductions for publishing and/or commercial use, please contact rights.reproductions@walkerart.org.

Am Am Not Am Not Willing
Carl Andre
sheet 8-¼ × 11-¾ inches
ink on paper
Not on view

Object Details

Drawings and Watercolors (Drawings)
Accession Number
in pencil on reverse BR “@ Carl Andre @ 1972”; in peicnil on reverse BR Side “Over 22”
Physical Description
Variations of words in a phrase, drawn on graph paper.
Credit Line
T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 1999

object label Carl Andre, Untitled (1963), Untitled (1963), Am Am Not Am Not Willing (1972), T STTW T STTW T TTTW T TTTW (1972) , 1999

I was consciously writing poetry before I was consciously making sculpture… . A typewriter has even spacing on the lines … [and] is essentially a grid… . Rather than trying to achieve a certain look, I was using the same underlying abstractions, the same underlying forms, in both [poetry and sculpture]–working out of the grid system of the typewriter to the actual grid system of paper in poetry and also using the same kind of system to plan sculptures to try and find elements that would work within a system.–Carl Andre, 1972

Carl Andre wrote poems from an early age. His mother was a poet, his father a draftsman; as a child, he read dictionaries, encyclopedias, technical books, and geometry books. Primarily known for his Minimalist sculptures such as Slope 2004 (on view in this gallery), Andre works with language in the same way that he handles sculptural materials. He often lifts the “material” from existing literary texts, then cuts it apart and rearranges it according to purely formal considerations. Words appear as words, letters as letters; the content and meaning of individual words are of secondary importance. This method merges the acts of reading and viewing, since what is to be read is contiguous with what is to be seen. In the end, the poems are very similar to the sculptures–the apparent simplicity of their geometric forms and familiar contents, as well as the scrupulous avoidance of straightforward meaning, act as a teaser to an experience of perception.

Label text for Carl Andre, Untitled (1963), Untitled (1963), Am Am Not Am Not Willing (1972), T STTW T STTW T TTTW T TTTW (1972), from the exhibition Art in Our Time: 1950 to the Present, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, September 5, 1999 to September 2, 2001.

Copyright 1999 Walker Art Center