Anthony McCall is widely recognized for his ‘solid-light’ installations, hybrid works between sculpture, drawing, and cinema in which projected beams of light inscribe three-dimensional forms into smoke-filled interiors.
Active in the avant-garde cinema communities of London and New York in the 1960s and 1970s, McCall began working in film and performance before developing his ‘solid-light’ installations, beginning with Light Describing A Cone, 1973. In this work, audiences moved freely within the space as a three-dimensional cone of light slowly emerged from a projector. P. Adams Sitney, in his landmark history of avant-garde cinema, Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde, described McCall’s installations of the 1970s as, “the most brilliant case of an observation on the essentially sculptural quality of every cinematic situation.” Since the 1990s, technological advancements have allowed McCall to continue to develop these installations, to involve multiple projectors inscribing increasingly complex and interwoven forms. Recent solid-light works such as Split Second consist of multiple, interpenetrating solid-light forms creating a dynamic, activated space. McCall’s work makes visible the immaterial qualities of cinema, including light, space, and duration. His installations liberate the viewer to engage with their materials through both the body and the eye.
The historical importance of McCall’s work’s has been internationally recognized in such exhibitions as Dark Rooms, Solid Light, at the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York (2019), Anthony McCall: Solid Light Works, at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York (2018); Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016); On Line at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010-11), The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality and the Projected Image at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC (2008); and The Geometry of Motion 1920s/1970s at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008).
McCall’s work has also been exhibited at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Tate Britain, London, England; Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France; Musée de Rochechouart, France; SFMoMA, San Francisco; Serpentine Gallery, London, England; Hangar Bicocca, Milan, Italy; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand; the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal; the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany; the Faena Arts Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina; LOK | Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland; Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura, Lugano, Switzerland; and the Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, England, amongst others. His [MOU3] [AL4] work is represented in numerous collections, including, Tate, London, England; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; SFMoMA, San Francisco; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; and the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC.
Anthony McCall currently lives and works in New York.
For more information, please visit www.anthonymccall.com.
Neil Koenig, ideaXme Board Advisor and former Senior BBC Series Producer interviews Artist, Anthony McCall.
Installation video of Anthony McCall: Split Second at Sean Kelly, New York, December 14, 2018 - January 26, 2019, Video: Sean Mattison, Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York © Anthony McCall
VernissageTV: Anthony McCall: Solid Light Works / Pioneer Works, New York, March 6, 2018
Freunde der Nationalgalerie: Anthony McCall, Five Minutes of Pure Sculpture. August 17, 2016.
Arts Hub: Interview with Anthony McCall, December 5, 2016
Blouin ArtInfo: Anthony McCall's Notebooks & Duration Drawings, Jul. 9, 2015
TateShots: Anthony McCall – Line Describing a Cone, Aug. 13, 2008