Andrei Cadere is one of the conceptual art’s founders and also one of the most important protagonists of the radical conceptual art. He is also one of the artists whose reputation, quotation and influence have dramatically increased in the last two decades.
Andrei Cadere was born in 1934 Warsaw, Poland and died in 1978 in Paris. And France is actually the place where he become famous. That is why not many people know that Andrei Cadere has actually Romanian origins, his father being a Romanian diplomat in Poland.
He started his artistic activity in Romania, as self-taught painter and he was also sometimes picture as model for Corneliu Baba. He was also experimenting in underground shows all sorts of techniques, from surrealism to optical art. We can easily imagine that Romania in that period, a communist era, was not a favorable place to art in general, the less to conceptual art. In 1967, at 33 years, Andrei Cadere left Romania, continuing his work in France.
Then, in 1970 he gave up painting on canvas, instead he began the painting on bois. He concentrates his work only on one aspect, Barres de bois rond (Round Wooden Bars) that became a brand just like any other commercial brand. These wooden bars were “sold” along with a tag line that mimics the cash receipts from the store. In the conservatory artistic environment of years 70’ his artistic step was really courageous.
His Round Wooden Bar is a long pole made of colored wooden cylindrical units and each stick contained one anomaly into the system of arranging the units. His idea “peinture sans fin” (“infinite painting”) reminds us of course of the “infinite column” of Constantin Brancusi. His bar with repeated elements was so a metonymy for the idea of expanding infinitely the limits of art. The wood was manually carved and dented, so no one of the units is perfectly cylindrical. Andrei Cadere’s message was to value the things hand-made in his trying to oppose to the uniformity dictated by the industrial data.
Being a marginalized artist in his native country, Andrei Cadere was an outsider in France also. He created a performance that claimed radical changes in the order of the Parisian artistic movements.
He brought the idea of art everywhere, not only in galleries, he took his wooden stick with him all over: the street, the bar, any room or space became a place of exhibition; actually, he exhibited his art everywhere.
Andrei Cadere brought his rounded wooden bar at his artists friends exhibitions, becoming so one of the exhibitors. He introduced his wooden bar also into the openings where he wasn’t invited, somehow he managed always to infiltrates his bar becoming a “danger” for art museums and galleries. Sometimes he added a cheeky announcement to galleries that he and his bar will be attending the opening. His benign crime was the “scream” against uniformity, lows, rules … his form of fight for freedom.
“My art is the situation of my work in the world. It is critical of power. That is what I call the political in my work.” Andrei Cadere
photo : frieze.com, 9am.ro, produsin.ro, criticatac.ro