John McCracken Exhibition

David Zwirner 19th Street

poster for John McCracken Exhibition

This event has ended.

Since the mid-1960s, John McCracken has been a key figure in the conceptual expansion of abstract art, in particular, Minimalism. While the artist has explored many geometric formats during his career, he is best known for his “planks”—monochromatic, rectangular sculptures that lean against the wall. The sculptures consist of plywood forms coated with fiberglass and layers of polyester resin. Despite the seemingly industrial finish, each work is meticulously crafted and taken to a high polish by hand. The resulting form is strikingly brilliant, offering the viewer’s reflection as a reminder of the heightened physicality of pure abstract form. Illusorily transparent, the works seem to emanate light, recalling McCracken’s 1960s association with the Southern California “light and space” movement.

This exhibition consists of multi-part sculptures, comprising nearly 100 components. In a panoply of colors, the singular elements, ranging from 8 to 10 feet in height, suggest the broad chromatic spectrum of the natural world. With deep and vibrant hues, each work is a meditation on absolute color, occupying the space between sculpture and painting by proposing volumetric color as its own conceptual entity. This exhibition marks a departure from the austerity and economy of form that has characterized McCracken’s most recent exhibitions, instead celebrating abundance and discovering rhythm through color. To create this new body of work, the artist has altered the proportions of his renowned planks, eschewing frontality in favor of a slender construction and deceptively simple, the works simultaneously refer to nothing and possibly everything. The groupings in this exhibition conjure an image of humanity, figuring individuality, heroism, diversity, and interdependence. Exceeding the representation of a singular entity, however, the
works concurrently function as a critical investigation of existence and levels of reality.



from September 11, 2008 to October 18, 2008
Press preview with the artist: September 11, 5:30 - 6:00 pm.

Opening Reception on 2008-09-11 from 18:00 to 20:00


John McCracken

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