John McCracken "New Works in Bronze and Steel"

David Zwirner 19th Street

poster for John McCracken "New Works in Bronze and Steel"

This event has ended.

My works are minimal and reductive, but also maximal. I try to make them concise, clear statements in three-dimensional form, and also to take them to a breathtaking level of beauty.
– John McCracken

David Zwirner presents an exhibition of new work by American artist John McCracken, on view at the gallery’s 533 West 19th Street space.
McCracken developed his earliest sculptural work while studying painting at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland in the 1960s. While experimenting with increasingly three-dimensional canvases, the artist began to produce objects made with industrial techniques and materials, including plywood, sprayed lacquer, and pigmented resin, creating the highly-reflective, smooth surfaces that he has become known for.

In 1966, McCracken generated his signature sculptural form: the plank, a narrow, monochromatic, rectangular board format that leans at an angle against the wall (the site of painting) while simultaneously entering into the three- dimensional realm and physical space of the viewer. In addition to the planks, the artist also creates wall pieces and free-standing sculptures in varying geometrical shapes and sizes, ranging from smaller forms on pedestals to large- scale, outdoor structures.

This exhibition consists of three bronze planks, representing the first time McCracken has used the metal for this format, and four square columns in stainless steel. In the artist’s words, these reflective works are both “materialist and transcendentalist;” they are luminous objects which border on invisibility as they reflect their surroundings. There is a subtle interplay between their shiny materiality and their immaterial dimension, and by extension between their physicality and meta-physicality: the objects gain a singular and almost otherworldly quality, appearing at once present and concealed.

The artist’s use of color and reflection further underscores this intended dichotomy. Though inherently abstract, these devices are used as “materials,” or structural elements in their own right. Titles, likewise, subtly complement the concrete, solid works by referring to intangible or ephemeral phenomena.



from September 16, 2010 to October 23, 2010

Opening Reception on 2010-09-16 from 18:00 to 20:00


John McCracken

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