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