John McCracken: Works from 1963-2011
Text by Robin Clark. Interview with the artist by Anne Reeve
My works are minimal and reduced, 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 occupies a singular position within the recent history of American art, as his work melds the restrained formal qualities of Minimalist sculpture with a distinctly West Coast sensibility expressed through color, form, and finish. He developed his early sculptural work while studying painting at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland in the late 1950s and early 1960s. While experimenting with increasingly three-dimensional canvases, the artist began to produce objects made with industrial materials, including plywood, sprayed lacquer and pigmented resin, creating the highly reflective, smooth surfaces that he was to become known for.
Published on the occasion of the comprehensive presentation of McCracken\s work at David Zwirner, New York in 2013, this catalogue charts the evolution of the artist\s diverse oeuvre, encompassing both well-known and lesser-seen examples of his production from the early 1960s up through his death in 2011 with a range of sculptures, paintings, and sketches. Featuring new scholarship by art historian Robin Clark, it includes reproductions of fascinating archival and documentary material that was discovered during the curatorial process, from the artist’s sketches to gallery invitation cards, early catalogue covers, historic photographs, as well as installation views of the exhibition.
From top: John McCracken, Fair, 2011; Installation view
Publisher: David Zwirner Books / Radius Books
Artists: John McCracken
Contributors: Robin Clark, Anne Reeve
Designer: David Chickey, Skolkin/Chickey
Printer: Editoriale Bortolazzi Stei, Verona, Italy
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 13 in (29.2 x 33 cm)
Reproductions: 110 color, 11 b&w
Retail: $75 US & Canada | £45 | €62
John McCracken (1934-2011) developed his early sculptural work while studying painting at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland in the late 1950s and early 1960s. While experimenting with increasingly three-dimensional canvases, the artist began to produce objects made with industrial materials, including plywood, sprayed lacquer, and pigmented resin, creating the highly reflective, smooth surfaces that he was to become known for.
Robin Clark is Director of the Artist Initiative at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she leads interdisciplinary collection research projects that involve long-term collaborations with participating artists. She is an art historian and curator whose scholarship focuses on the intersections of contemporary art and architecture and the conservation of modern materials. She was assistant curator and a contributing author to the Eva Hesse retrospective exhibition and catalogue produced by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA and Yale University Press, 2002) and was curator of the Currents exhibition series at the Saint Louis Art Museum (2002-2007). Her more recent exhibitions and publications include Automatic Cities: The Architectural Imaginary in Contemporary Art (Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 2009) and Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface, part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative (University of California Press, 2011). ?
Anne Reeve serves as Curatorial Associate at Glenstone. In addition to her work on various exhibitions and publications, she oversees Glenstone’s Oral History Program, conducting interviews to document its institutional history and to enrich the understanding of the artists in the foundation’s collection. Her writing has appeared in Art in America and Art Papers magazine, and she is currently at work on a publication to accompany Glenstone’s upcoming exhibition of works by Fred Sandback.