Installation view of the exhibition John McCracken, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2008.

John McCracken

David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by John McCracken. The artist was the subject of a solo exhibition at S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Belgium in 2004. His work has been featured prominently in recent major group shows including documenta 12, Kassel, Germany (2007); The Los Angeles Art Scene, 1955-1985, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (2006); A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California (2004); and Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art From 1951 to the Present, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2004). On the occasion of this solo exhibition–the artist’s fourth at David Zwirner–Radius Books will publish John McCracken: Sketchbook.

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.

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A sculpture by John McCracken, titled Thought, dated 2008.

John McCracken

Thought, 2008
Polyester resin, fiberglass and plywood
Overall dimensions: 120 x 92 1/2 x 14 inches (304.8 x 235 x 35.6 cm) 6 parts, each: 120 x 5 x 3 1/2 inches (304.8 x 12.7 x 8.9 cm)
A sculpture by John McCracken, titled Flower, dated 2008.

John McCracken

Flower, 2008
Polyester resin, fiberglass and plywood
Overall dimensions: 120 x 128 3/4 x 14 inches (304.8 x 327 x 35.6 cm) 8 parts, each: 120 x 5 x 3 1/2 inches (304.8 x 12.7 x 8.9 cm)

John McCracken occupies a singular position within the recent history of American art. 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 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 until his death in 2011. Featuring text by art historian Robin Clark, it includes reproductions of fascinating archival and documentary material, from the artist’s sketches to gallery invitation cards, early catalogue covers, and historic photographs. Published by David Zwirner Books / Radius Books.

Installation view of the exhibition John McCracken, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2008.
Installation view of the exhibition John McCracken, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2008.
Installation view of the exhibition John McCracken, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2008.
Installation view of the exhibition John McCracken, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2008.
Installation view of the exhibition John McCracken, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2008.
A sculpture by John McCracken, titled Chakra, dated 2008.

John McCracken

Chakra, 2008
Polyester resin, fiberglass, and plywood
Overall dimensions: 120 x 145 x 14 inches (304.8 x 368.3 x 35.6 cm) 9 parts, each: 120 x 5 x 3 1/2 inches (304.8 x 12.7 x 8.9 cm)
A sculpture by John McCracken, titled Rhythm, dated 2008.

John McCracken

Rhythm, 2008
Polyester resin, fiberglass, and plywood in seven (7) parts
96 x 106 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches (243.8 x 270.5 x 34.3 cm)

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