John McCracken (American, 2011)

John McCracken (American, 1934–2011) is associated with the West Coast school of Minimalism, and is critically acclaimed for his monochromatic sculptures that explore the purity of color and form, as well as question the relationship between sculpted objects and their surrounding spaces. Born in Berkeley, California, McCracken attended the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and later taught at the School of Fine Arts at the University of California, where students of Minimalist and Conceptual art flocked. In addition to sculpting, McCracken is an avid painter, whose early works use layers of lacquer and paint to build up their surfaces. These works directly affected his sculptural technique; eventually he began covering his sculptures in lacquer as well, sanding the edges of cubes and geometric shapes before covering them in resin to create a perfectly smooth, almost manufactured surface appearance. He is particularly known for his self-titled Planks, monochrome slabs made from wood, canvas, and steel that are often displayed projecting from a wall. McCracken’s work frequently unites the mediums of painting and sculpture, capturing the essence of color and form, while activating both the sculpture and the surrounding space. McCracken is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and has exhibited his work at the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland, the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, and the Tate Liverpool, among other institutions.

Timeline

1934
Born in Berkeley, CA
1957–1962
Studied at California College of Arts & Crafts, Oakland, CA
1964–1965
Studied at California College of Arts & Crafts, Oakland, CA
1966–1968
Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
1968
Recipient, National Endowment for the Arts Award
1968–1969
Professor, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
1975–1985
Professor, College of Creative Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
Lives and works in New Mexico

Exhibitions

2011
Castello di Rivoli, ‘John McCracken: A Retrospective’, Turin, Italy
2010
David Zwirner, ‘New Works in Bronze and Steel’, New York NY
2009
Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, ‘John McCracken: Landing’, Edinburgh, Scotland
2009
Temi e Variazioni. Dalla grafia all’azzeramento, a cura di/curated by Luca Massimo Barbero, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venezia
2009
Time & Place: Los Angeles, 1958-1968, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (solo)
2008
Time & Place: Los Angeles, 1958-1968, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
2008
David Zwirner Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2005
Early Sculpture / John McCracken, Zwirner & Wirth, New York (solo)
2005
Franklin Parrasch Gallery and Joan T. Washburn Gallery, 'Wilder. A Tribute to the Nicholas Wilder Gallery Loas Angeles, 1965-1979', New York NY
2005
Albright-Know Art Gallery, 'Abstraction', Buffalo, NY
2005
Godt-Cleary Projects, 'Turrell + McCracken', Las Vegas/NV
2005
Tate Liverpool, ’Summer of Love’, Liverpool, United Kingdom
2005
ZKM Museum für Neue Kunst, 'EXIT. Ausstieg aus dem Bild', Karlsruhe, Germany
2005
Hauser & Wirth, ‚John McCracken/Paul McCarthy’, Zurich, Switzerland
2004
Museum of Contemporary Art, 'A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968', Los Angeles, CA
2004
Galerie Almine Rech, Paris, France
2004
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, ’Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art From 1951 to the Present’, New York
2004
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, ‚Perspectives@25: A Quarter Century of New Art in Houston, Houston/TX
2004
SMAK, Gent, David Zwirner, New York, NY (solo)
2003
LA Louver, Los Angeles (solo)
2003
Galerie Rolf Ricke, 'Der Weite Blick', Köln, Germany
2003
Lucas Schoormans Gallery, 'The Exquisite Object', New York, NY
2003
McClain Gallery, 'Space Vehicles: Allusion Objectified', Houston, TX
2003
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design 'Minimalist Works from the Museum’s Collection', Providence RI
2003
The Norton Museum of Art, 'Minimal to the Max: The Brownstone Collection', West Palm Beach, FL
2002
Musée des Beaux-Arts, 'Multiples Objets de Désir', Nantes, France
2002
capc Mudsée d'art contemporain Entrepôt, 'Les années 70: l'art en cause', Bordeaux, France
2002
LA Louver, August 2002, Los Angels, CA
2002
Mary Boone Gallery, 'Surface to Surface', New York, NY
2002
Galerie Hauser & Wirth, 'Ten Years Galerie Hauser & Wirth', Zurich, Switzerland
2002
Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, 'Painting Zero Degree', Cleveland, OH
2002
Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Nîmes, 'Pieces de Collection/Œuvres Contemporaines', Nîmes, France
2002
Sammlun Hauser & Wirth in der Lockremise St. Gallen, 'The House of Fiction', St. Gallen, Switzerland
2002
Gavin Brown’s enerprise, 'big brown bag', New York, NY
2002
Lisson Gallery, London, England (solo)
2001
LA Louver, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
2001
Grazer Kunstverein, 'Timewave Zero/The Poitics of Ecstasy', Graz, Austria
2001
Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, 'Künstlerräume/Sammlerräume', St. Gallen, Switzerland
2001
L.A. Louver Gallery, 'Sculpture', Venice, CA
2001
Fuller Museum of Art, 'Painting Zero Degree', Brockton, MA
2001
St. Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, CA
2001
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD
2001
Zwirner & Wirth, 'I LOVE NY', New York, NY
2000
Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, ‘Chromaform. Color in Sculpture‘, Wichita
2000
Museum of Modern Art, ’Open End’, New York, NY
2000
aargauer kunsthaus aarau, ’Das Gedächtnis der Malerei’, Aarau, Switzerland
2000
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, ‘Chromaform. Color in Sculpture‘, South Hadley, MA
2000
Cranbrook Art Museum, ‘Painting Zero Degree‘, Bloomfield Hills, MI
2000
The Whitney Museum of American Art, ‘The American Century: Art and Culture 1950-2000 (Part 2)‘, New York
2000
Umetnostna Galerija Maribor, '6th International Triennial the Ecology and the Art: "American Dreams"', cur. Nancy Buchanan, Maribor
2000
Espace de l’Art Concret Château de Mouans-Sartoux, 'art concret', Mouans-Sartoux, France
2000
John McCracken - Stainless Steel Sculptures, Zwirner & Wirth, New York, NY (solo)
2000
New Sculptures, L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, CA (solo)
2000
Lisson Gallery, London, England (solo)
2000
Almine Rech, Paris, France (solo)
1999
John McCracken: Sculpture 1987-1999, James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM (solo)
1998
A Arte Studio Invernizzi, Milan, Italy (solo)
1998
Flourescent Works, Galerie Art & Publique, Geneva, Switzerland (solo)
1998
Studio la Città, Verona, Italy (solo)
1998
A Arte Studio Invernizzi, ‘John McCracken‘, Milan, Italy
1997
Lisson Gallery, 'John McCracken', London, England
1997
David Zwirner Gallery, New York, NY
1997
L.A. Louver Gallery, 'New Dimensions', Venice, CA
1996
Galerie Froment & Putman, Paris, France
1996
Galerie Froment & Putman, Paris, France (solo)
1995
John McCracken – Skulpturen, Galerie Tanit, Munich, Germany (solo)
1995
Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria (solo)
1995
Galerie Tanit, 'John McCracken – Skulpturen', Munich, Germany
1995
Museum für Angewandte Kunst, ‘John McCracken‘, Vienna, Austria
1995
Kunsthalle Basel, ‘Protoplast (mit Gerhard Merz)‘, Basel, Switzerland