Monday, November 03, 2008

John McCracken at David Zwirner

Visual Music.

This was a beautiful exhibition of new works by the Minimalist sculptor John McCracken. Of all the sculptors who found their start in the 1960's John McCracken has consistently made the most enigmatically beautiful objects. Objects which exist almost solely as a container for color. Each work in this exhibition is composed of a number of elements, executed in his characteristic style, and grouped together to comprise a whole.

Taken individually each part is a rectangular bar of solid color, polished to a glasslike finish allowing the surfaces to disappear and setting the color free as a solid experience. The color of each part is contained within the surface layer of resin, this allows the ambient light to penetrate the surface somewhat before being reflected back to the viewer, as a result the color is very deep and intense feeling.

In these new works composed of several parts, the viewer experiences the individual elements and the overall whole. The experience I have is somewhat between a rhythm and a chord, each element sounding a clear chromatic tone and then harmonically resonating with it's neighbors.

In spite of the physicality of all these elements, the works have an ethereal quality, singing in the space at a glance, then falling silent. This was a deceptively simple and extraordinary exhibition by a visionary artist.

John McCracken, 2008 Installation View
David Zwirner Gallery

John McCracken "Flare" 2008
Polyester resin, fiberglass and plywood
Overall dimensions: 96 x 72 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches
5 parts, each: 96 x 4 1/2 x 3 inches

John McCracken "Rhythm" 2008
Polyester resin, fiberglass and plywood
Image Size: Overall dimensions: 96 x 106 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches
7 parts, each: 96 x 4 1/2 x 3 inches

Installation View at the David Zwirner Gallery

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