Carl Andre, Equivalent VIII, 1966-69
When it comes down to it, one pile of bricks is pretty much like another. At least, that’s the way things work in Carl Andre’s Equivalent series. Each of the eight sculptures in the series consists of 120 bricks laid out on the floor two layers deep. Though each is laid out in a different arrangement, as each contains the same number of the same type of bricks, each occupies the same volume of space and can therefore be seen as equivalent.
Equivalent VIII, bought by the Tate in 1972, is described as 2 high x 6 header x 10 stretcher; in other words the bricks are in two layers each six bricks wide by ten bricks long. The work is probably more commonly known as the bricks, or perhaps the pile of bricks, and has long been one of the most controversial artworks held by a British art museum.