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 with a range of sculptures, paintings and sketches.
This catalog is published on the occasion of the exhibition John McCracken: Works 1963-2011, at the gallery’s 537 West 20th Street location (September 10 – October 19, 2013).