20 Questions for Carl Andre—June, 1980

I had the good fortune to grow up as an artist in Portland during what I now think of as its early renaissance. Portland Center for the Visual Arts was founded in 1972 (and lasted until 1988). Blue Sky Gallery opened in fall 1975. The Northwest Artist’s Workshop, in 1976. Blackfish Gallery, 1979. The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, 1980. All of these were essentially DIY artists’ projects.

From 1974-1983 I was the art critic for Willamette Week. I wasn’t making much money then and half my income was from the 3 cents per word that I got as a WW freelancer. But I got to talk to some art stars. I interviewed Christo, Dan Flavin, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Irwin, Judy Chicago, Vito Acconci, Roy Lichtenstein. Those tended to be longer articles than straight reviews and easier to write.

Carl Andre had an exhibition at PCVA in 1973, before I was writing. But in 1980 Mel Katz arranged for him to come to Portland State University. Along with a public talk, there was an exhibition of two of Andre’s works (see below). I arranged to interview Andre, and as I recall we went to Burger King, then at Burnside and Broadway. It was there that Andre told me that he didn’t do recorded interviews anymore. My heart sank. There goes lots of 3 cent words. BUT, he suggested that I send him interview questions on 3×5 cards. So I did.  And he sent them back:

Andre000Andre002 Andre003Andre004 Andre005 Andre006 Andre007 Andre008 Andre009Andre010 Andre011 Andre012 Andre013 Andre014 Andre015 Andre016  Andre017


Andre018 Andre019 Andre020

This interview was published in Willamette Week in August 1980.

WW Andre

Later, much to my surprise, I found that the interview was published in this catalog accompanying a big Andre exhibition in Germany. I only found out about it by seeing my name in the listing of an art book dealer.

1996 Book


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