“Allan McCollum”

Allan McCollum, encounter in Soho

Born in 1944 in Los Angeles, Allan McCollum has lived in the heart of Manhattan since the 1960s. He is represented by the Mitterrand, Thomas Schulte and MFC-Michèle Didier galleries. An in-studio encounter.   Your work, based on the repetition of forms, is a continuation of your first series dating back to the 1970s… Having been an artist for nearly fifty years, I’ve done a lot of research in my time, but at my age, it becomes important, and even necessary, to look back and see what all your work has in common. I haven’t finished thinking about it yet, even if some unifying themes recur, such as mass production and unique objects. Since the very start of my career, I’ve explored these distinctions, I’ve mixed them up, and while I’m not the only artist to be doing this, I’ve always systematically worked in enormous quantities! I don’t make fifty but ten thousand pieces, and each one is unique. All of my investigations have also considered the space of the gallery or museum, as opposed to that of a store. I always try to contextualise the different ways we have of showing objects with meaning for us. I’ve also made some “souvenirs” and collaborated with small towns to create pieces relating to their own craftsmanship.   Did you originally intend for this multiplicity and this notion of quantity to go against a certain fetishisation of art and the art world? I never use this word “fetishisation” but I agree with the idea. I was born during World War II and I grew up at a time when we discovered the horrors of Nazis and millions of people killed just because they were Jewish, Communists, homosexuals, gypsies… It was a nightmare. Of course I’m expressing my own view, but I...

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“Allan McCollum: Shapes Spinoffs” at Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin

Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin is currently holding an exhibition entitled “Allan McCollum: Shapes Spinoffs” which will run until 12 December 2015. The exhibition is showing 144 handmade ash-wood sculptures from McCollum’s “Shapes Spinoffs” representing a continuation on his ongoing series Shapes Project, which he began in 2005. The sculptures are distributed among 24 tables in groups of six, allowing  the viewer to move freely between the tables and appreciate the distinctive qualities of the objects but also the importance of the individual placement of each unique shape. The collective approach challenges culture’s tendency to value single, unique art pieces over things produced in large quantities. Allan McCollum is an American conceptual artist who has been represented by Galerie Thomas Schulte for almost 25 years. His work is characterised by his exploration of the sociological phenomenon of individuality within the masses and the artistic concern with identity and individuality. His works are often marked by the accumulation of individual pieces, such as drawings or sculptural objects, of which well-known examples include his Plaster Surrogates, Perfect Vehicles, and his Over Ten Thousand Individual Works...

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The JGM Gallery will present a personal exhibition of the works of American artist Allan McCollum

Paris, 4 April 2013, Art Media Agency, (AMA). Located in the heart of a marsh, the gallery will organise an event from 17 May to 22 June 2013. The private viewing will be held on Thursday 16 May 2013. Recent works from The Shapes Project and a part of the Natural Copies from the Coal Mines of Central Utah series will be presented. In fact, the artist has a particular way of making works into series, by starting with a few objects and finishing with thousands more, all with a variety of mediums including sculptures, drawings and photographs. However, each work remains unique because the artist adds subtle variations to each piece. The works of the artist are exhibited today in major museum institutions such as the MoMA in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Met in New York, as well as the Centre Georges Pompidou in...

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MFC-Michèle Didier Gallery presents “The Book of Shapes” by Allan McCollum

Paris, 25 February 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). From 22 March to 18 May, MFC-Michèle Didier will be presenting works by Allan McCollum in an event titled “The Book of Shapes”, a title which is at the same time a name of the publication put forth by the gallery. “The Book of Shapes”, as the title indicates, is about shapes and forms. It comes directly from a project titled “The Shapes Project”, that was initiated by Allan McCollum in 2005 and “provides a system for producing shapes, each different, and each destined to be assigned to a single individual.” According to the press release, “The Shapes Project”, is a sort of extention of similar concerns evoked earlier by the Bauhaus school and ideological conflicts that arose between defenders of fine arts and crafts in contrast with industrial production followed by the disappearance of boarders between disciplines and processes of mass production.” Allan McCollum was born in Los Angeles in 1944. He lives and works in New York. For over forty years he has been investigating ways through which objects arrive to attain public and personal significance in a world controlled by mass production. Allan McCollum created numerous public art projects in both the United States and Europe. His works are present in over seventy museums’ collections throughout the...

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“Last Exit: Pictures”

Geneva, 20 March 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). Blondeau Fine Art Services (BFAS), an exhibition space in Geneva, is hosting “Last Exit: Pictures” until 21 April 2012. The exhibition will feature works by the following artists: Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Allan McCollum, John Miller, Steven Parrino, Richard Prince, David Robbins, David Salle, Laurie Simmons, Alan Vega and James Welling. The show is been based around London’s Image Division collection, and aims to explore the problems and issues that were current between 1976 and 1989. For example, the exhibition looks at the rivalry between photography and painting, but also appropriationist theories which were fiercely debated at the time. The title is a reference to a Thomas Lawson work, which was released in 1981, advocating the the importance of painting in the emergence of this practice. At the heart of the exhibition is an interest in displaying “images” in every possible state (appropriated, displaced, painted, photographed, combined etc.) and to follow their transfer from one medium to another. With digitalisation and subsequent hyper-availability of information in the 1990s and 2000s, a completely different approach to images, their representation, and the ways in which they are presented have been radically changed, both in art and in...

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