Allan McCollum, Collection of 90 drawings, 1988/91 - Artist Pencil on Museum Board
Allan McCollum was born in Los Angeles, California in 1944. He has been living and working in New-York since 1975.
He has had over 100 solo exhibitions, including retrospectives at the Musée d'Art Moderne, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Lille, France (1998); the Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (1995-96); the Serpentine Gallery, London (1990); the Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmo, Sweden (1990); IVAM Centre del Carme, Valencia, Spain (1990); Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1989), and Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (1988).
He participated in the Aperto at the 1988 Venice Biennale, his works have been exhibited in the United States White House, he has produced numerous public art projects in the United States and Europe, and his works are held in over seventy art museum collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2008, McCollum exhibited 1800 drawings from his 1988-91 Drawings project at the 28th Bienal de São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil
Influenced initially by reading the writings of the Fluxus artists and the early structuralists, and found a job as a truck driver and crate-builder for an art handling company in West Hollywood. Through this job he met many artists, art dealers, art collectors, and museum curators, learning much about the contemporary art world.
During the 70's, he exhibited his work regularly at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery and also at the Claire S. Copley Gallery, both in Los Angeles. His work was featured in a number of museum group exhibitions, including shows at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Pasadena Art Museum, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute, the Seattle Art Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Krannert Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In late 1975, he moved to the SoHo district of New York City, where he lives today.
McCollum's family history, his experiences and training at working in industrial kitchens, and his interest in theater and Fluxus, including "task-oriented" performance art, offered him a unique take on labor and art, and the methods and systems of quantity-production showed themselves in his artwork from the very beginning. He is known for utilizing the methods of mass production in his work in many different ways, often creating thousands of objects that, while produced in large quantity, are each unique.
In 1988-91 he created over thirty thousand completely unique objects he titled Individual Works, which were gathered and exhibited in collections of over ten thousand. The objects were made by taking many dozens of rubber molds from common household objects-like bottle caps, food containers, and kitchen tools-and combining plaster casts of these parts in thousands of possible ways, never repeating a combination. In 1989, he used a similar system to create thousands of handmade graphite pencil drawings, using hundreds of plastic drafting templates he designed for this purpose, each drawing made unique by combining the templates according to a combinatorial protocol that never repeated itself.
Beginning in the early nineties, McCollum expanded his interests in quantity production to include explorations into the ways regional communities give meaning to local landmarks and geological oddities in establishing community identity, and collaborated with a number of small towns and small historical museums in Europe and throughout the United States, bringing attention to the way local narratives develop around objects peculiar to geographic regions, and drawing comparisons to the way artworks develop meaning in a parallel manner.
In 2005, McCollum designed The Shapes Project, a combinatorial system to produce "a completely unique shape for every person on the planet, without repeating." The system involves organizing a basic vocabulary of 300 "parts" which can be combined in over 30 billion different ways, created as "vector files" in a computer drawing program. The Shapes are created to be used for many different kinds of projects.
In 2010, he published "The Book of Shapes", in collaboration with mfc-michèle didier. This book makes the Shapes Project complete : The first volume contains the 300 shapes "parts," and the second one includes the guides and instructions for creating all possible combinations with these components.
OPENING SATURDAY 10th & SUNDAY 11th OF NOVEMBER 2012 / 11am-5pm