Carl Andre, Lever, 1966, firebricks. Image from the National Gallery of Canada's website.
"All I am doing," says Andre, "is putting Brancusi's Endless Column on the ground instead of in the sky. Most sculpture is priapic with the male organ in the air. In my work, Priapus is down on the floor. The engaged position is to run along the earth." Rhetoric aside, he denies emphatically that his work has even implicit sexual meaning. But as originally planned, Lever was not without sexual connotations, coursing through the doorway like a 34 1/2 foot erection. (Gregory Battcock, Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology.)
Ana Mendieta, 1972, from here.
Carl Andre broke up with Ana Mendieta in a fury when she refused to turn down the Prix de Rome in sculpture and its yearlong residency in 1983. They got back together when he came to visit her in Italy. When she “went out the window” in 1985, Carl Andre showed the police officer who came to the apartment a catalogue of his work. He said to the officer, “Maybe I was wrong. She wanted to go to bed. I wanted to watch TV… I don’t know, maybe I should have gone to bed with her, if that’s what she wanted. In that sense, maybe I did kill her.” No one had asked if he killed her. He said, “You see, I am a very successful artist and she wasn’t. Maybe that got to her, and in that case, maybe I did kill her.” (Elizabeth Bachner, "June Again" from Bookslut.)
Ana Mendieta, Untitled (Body Tracks), 1974, Lifetime color photograph, 10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.3 cm);.Copyright of The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York, NY. Image from here.
It was through the gallery that Mendieta first came to know Carl Andre, when he served on a panel entitled, "How has women's art practices affected male artist social attitudes?" According to Griefen, many associated with the gallery at the time believed that as her relationship with Andre developed, her relationship with the gallery suffered, a feeling that culminated with her resignation in 1982. (Gillian Sneed, "The Case of Ana Mendieta" from Art in America.)
Carl Andre sculpture, image from here.
She exposed awful truths about the art world in her work and after her life was cut short. She challenged racial and gender contexts by using the most simple materials possible — the ones that the earth provided and her own body. Dirt, mud, leaves — they were all part of how she identified her physical form — her skin, her body, and her self. (Coco, "Badass Ladies of History - Ana Mendieta" from Persephone Magazine.)
Ana Mendieta, image from here.
(As he never applied color, he never had to renounce it.)