Arthur Carter: Studies for Construction by Charles A. Riley

“An art which stirs the human soul through forms which resemble nothing known, which represent nothing, and which symbolize nothing.”

—August Endell, 1890, cited by George Rickey in Constructivism: Origins and Evolution

Describing Space: The Graceful Art of Arthur Carter by Carey Lovelace

At the heart of each of Arthur Carter’s open-form, discreetly beguiling sculptures lies a conundrum. How can substantial metal appear so weightless? How can two linear, closed forms, against logic, intersect? Just as a Möbius strip doubles back on itself to create a trick of infinity, Carter’s works, with the clarity of euclidean formulae, subtly probe contradictions amid certainties.

Arthur Carter: Sculpture, Drawings, Paintings by Charles A. Riley

The air is full of infinite lines, straight and radiating, intercrossing and interweaving without ever coinciding one with another; and they represent for every object the true form of their reason (or their explanation).

—Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks, Manuscript A, Folio 2

Ars Gratia Arthur by Peter W. Kaplan

Arthur Carter is a man of devouring, scouring intelligence, furious deductive powers, and occasionally slashing wit. He can be reassuring, but rarely complacent; warm, but rarely tepid. Before he was a man of shapes, he was primarily a man of numbers, sometimes terrifyingly so: He can read a balance sheet and spit out the results like what we used to call a Univac.

The Sculpture of Arthur Carter by Hilton Kramer

Back in the 1950’s, when Abstract Expressionist paintings was the ne plus ultra of what was thought to be avant-garde, the French novelist André Malraux, who was then creating a stir with a treatise on art called Voices of Silence, made a sobering observation.  Painting, he declared, was an art we had inherited from the past.  Sculpture, on the other hand, was described by Malraux as the art which the modern age had been obliged to reinvent.  It was the kind of observation that struck one as having the finality of truth as soon as it was made.

Arthur Carter: Stainless Steel by Hilton Kramer

Every work of sculpture, ancient or modern, figurative or abstract or some combination of both, may be said to give expression to the aesthetic relationship obtaining between a mass the space it occupies and transforms.  It is to the specific attributes of the mass, however—its physical scale, its material character, and its formal structure—that a sculpture owes its principal identity as a work of art.  Yet our response to that identity is inevitably contingent upon the ways in which the structure of the mass engages and redefines the circumambient space in which it is seen.

Arthur Carter: Linear Movements of Brushed Steel by Lance Esplund

Arthur Carter's most recent sculptures, linear movements of brushed steel, activate space like a lightening across a night sky. In this new work, Carter has more spring ans increased speed in his step, as he twists and torques planes with a freedom and ease suggestive of handwriting. But, aware as I am of his love of music, I am inclined to see the sculptures' rhythmic calligraphy as the crossings of a maestro's baton or the pulls of a bow across strings. In Triax, Parallax, and Tekonics (all from 2001), there is something of the virtuoso in their grand, curving and zigzagging lines, and yet they are as direct as Cater;s earlier works tat were based on mathematical equations, musical harmonies or the Golden Ratio.

The Sculpture of Arthur Carter by Lance Esplund

The sculptures of Arthur Carter perform for us with dramatic aplomb.  Like actors on a stage, these overarching characters take on slightly larger-than-life proportions.  Seen collectively on Carter’s Connecticut farm, the sculptures appear to have suddenly sprung forth from the earth, and to speak to one another across great distances.  Some of these pieces communicate through song; some through dance; others through mathematical equations writ large, but each, in its own way, makes a grand entrance.