John McCracken is one of the great living American artists whose use of colour as material continues to influence artists across generations in a career spanning 45 years. This exhibition features fourteen major sculptures dating from 1966 to 2006 from private collections, and early sketchbook drawings from 1964 to 1966 from the collection of the artist. It is the first solo museum exhibition devoted to the work of John McCracken ever to be presented in the UK.
Born in Berkeley, California in 1934, McCracken rose to prominence during the early 1960s as part of a group of artists working in Southern California. From the outset his work was associated with Minimalism and his contemporaries include Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Sol Lewitt and Carl Andre.
While McCracken has explored many geometric forms during his 45-year career, he is probably best known for his planks; elegant lengths of highly polished, brightly coloured plywood (made using techniques similar to those used in the construction of surf boards most commonly found in his native California), which lean against a wall. McCracken calls his objects "blocks, slabs, columns, planks. Basic beautiful forms, neutral forms." For him, colour is also used as "material." His sculptures are meditations on pure colour in a reductive geometrical form, presenting what has been described as the perfect resolution between painting and sculpture.
Since John McCracken's work first appeared in such ground-breaking exhibitions as "Primary Structures" at the Jewish Museum, New York in 1966 and "American Sculpture of the Sixties" at the LA County Museum in 1967, he has exhibited extensively in North America and Europe. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1968 and his work is represented in many public and private collections worldwide.
This is the latest in a series of exhibitions at Inverleith House
(during the Edinburgh Festival period) by North American artists presenting solo museum exhibitions for the first time in Scotland. The series has included exhibitions by: Carl Andre, William Eggleston, Agnes Martin, John McLaughlin, Robert Ryman, Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, Robert Therrien, Cy Twombly and Lawrence Weiner.