Published by David Zwirner/Radius. Text by Robin Clark. Interview by Anne Reeve.
John McCracken (1934–2011) 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. This catalogue charts the evolution of McCracken’s diverse oeuvre, encompassing both well-known and lesser-seen examples of the artist’s production from the early 1960s up through his death in 2011, presenting a range of sculptures, paintings and sketches.
Published by Radius Books. Interview with Neville Wakefield.
Since the mid-1960s, Southern California artist John McCracken--a contemporary of Donald Judd--has been a leading voice of Minimalist sculpture. His monochromatic fiberglass and resin sculptures, which are worked to a high and nearly translucent polish, are iconic pieces of this genre. Sketchbook, published concurrently with an exhibition at David Zwirner gallery in New York, presents the first volume of two treasured sketchbooks that McCracken used from the mid-60s until the mid-70s. Its pages contain working sketches that show the thought processes and insights that pre-date and presage his later work. The format, paper and reproduction quality of this exquisitely produced facsimile edition were chosen for their ability to faithfully reproduce the original pages from this fascinating document, while a supplemental booklet of color photographs shows the sketches in their realized form. Pushing the boundaries between art and architecture while manipulating the psychological and physiological processes inherent in abstraction, McCracken has carved out a unique niche within Minimalism that is tinged with the philosophical and metaphysical, about which he has stated, "...All things are essentially mental. Matter, while quite real on the one hand, is on the other hand composed of energy, and in turn, of pure thought."