Beginning in the 1970s, Anthony McCall creates art based on the beam of the film projector in the darkened cinema, working on the boundary between the most influential styles and genres in postwar art minimalism, film, performance and drawing. In this exhibition, Moderna Museet
presents two of his large light installations from the 2000s, along with numerous drawings.
"Anthony McCall was part of a circle that included many of the seminal artists of the 1960s - Richard Serra, Carolee Schneemann, Michael Snow and Joseph Kosuth, to name but a few and addressed many of the issues they were dealing with, albeit in his own independent and idiosyncratic way. It is exciting now, to present this exhibition of McCall, following his wonderful comeback that started with the Whitney Biennial in 2004, says Lars Nittve, Director of Moderna Museet and curator of Moderna Museet Now: Anthony McCall.
In 1973, Anthony McCall embarked on making the now legendary film series Solid Light. The first part, Line Describing a Cone, had its first screening at the experimental art space Fylkingen in Stockholm on 30 August the same year. During half an hour, a narrow ray of light was projected through the room by a 16 mm projector, first forming an arch and ultimately cutting out a large cone of light in the dark room.
This is basically the same sensual experience we may encounter today when we move in darkness through McCalls luminous walls or membranes of light. But now they are sculpted using different technology, to achieve greater visuality and complexity, both in animation and projection. Suddenly it has become possible now that smoky and dusty lofts are a thing of the past to (re)create the filmic fog necessary for the light to materialise with the aid of a haze machine.
It was when Anthony McCall discovered this possibility that he decided to return to art, after a pause of nearly 25 years, making his acclaimed comeback at the Whitney Biennial in 2004 with an entirely new work, Doubling Back. This work, which was recently acquired for the Moderna Museet collection and is featured in the exhibition, initiated the second chapter in an oeuvre that has come to assume a central position in art at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.
Anthony McCall was born in 1946 in the UK, but moved to New York when he was in his 30s. Since resuming his artistic work, he has participated in a large number of international solo and group exhibitions, at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the Serpentine Gallery, to name but a few.
At the finissage, the last weekend of the exhibition, 46 December, Line Describing a Cone, 1973, will be shown in the right-hand gallery on Floor 2.