André Cadere’s bars open up a debate on artistic systems, in line with institutional criticism. These pieces broke down the boundaries between painting and sculpture in a manner far removed from the methods employed by American Minimalist artists, because they were hand-made by Cadere and deliberately confront institutional convention. 1971’s Barre de bois cubique (Cubic Bar of Wood) consists of 40 cubic segments in black, blue, purple, red, green, orange and yellow. One of the four sides of the rectangular prism formed by the cubes is monochrome, maintaining the connection to the concept of painting as it imposes a frontal viewpoint; something that explicitly disappears in Cadere’s later bars, which were round. The work actually represents the final link before the exclusive creation of round bars from 1971 onwards. Given that it can be placed on the floor or hung on the wall and at any angle or in any position, Barre de bois cubique demands a certain amount of thought in every exhibition space, and decisions need to be made regarding what facets will be visible, basically meaning what viewpoint the exhibiting institution is going to impose on the viewer. So the geometric regularity of the piece contrasts with the range of possibilities open to its presence in the space, echoing Cadere’s interest firstly in the introduction of error into a mathematical series, and secondly in the artwork as moveable element.
Carmen Fernández Aparicio