Past Exhibitions

The Shapes Project: Shapes Spinoffs

  • Allan McCollum

06 October to 02 December 2015

Allan McCollum’s work is defined by his preoccupation with the phenomenon of individuality within mass quantities as a sociological issue and the artistic problem of exploring identity and individuality. His works are often characterized by an extreme accumulation of individual pieces, such as drawings or sculptural objects. Certainly the most well-known example of this are his Plaster Surrogates, Perfect Vehicles, and his Over Ten Thousand Individual Works series, which have become icons of late 20th
century art.

 

The Shapes Project marked a new beginning for Allan McCollum – also within the continued experimenting in a greater distribution of art works. The series is based on a system developed by the artist of combinable silhouette-like components. He can thus, with 300 individual components, produce millions of combinations and ultimately match an individual shape to each living person. Out of these approximately 31 billion shapes, the artist has set aside the potential of 214 million with which to work.
In the past decade McCollum has experimented with numerous variations and purposes for this vast amount of shapes, including adaptations into artificial marble and laminated plywood sculptures, framed prints, hand cut paper silhouettes, scrollsawed wooden ornaments, copper cookie cutters, rubber stamps and other variations. While always well aware of the fact that the project of constructing all shapes is much too large a task to complete in his own lifetime, he encourages that others in cooperation with him find further use for them and is always interested in collaborating with local artisans and craftspeople.
In the exhibition, 144 hand lathed, ash wood sculptures are distributed among 24 tables in groups of six. Each shape is composed in the standard four-component system of the project, yet, in this case, the top and the bottom components are mirrored in order to produce the symmetrical wooden pieces on a lathe. The rows of ash tables along with the great number of sculptures seem at first to be an overwhelming collection of objects indistinguishable from one another, filling the space of the gallery. In fact through the arrangement of groups of six allows for the viewer to move freely between the tables and appreciate the distinctive qualities but also the importance
of the individually determined placement of each unique shape. This challenges culture’s tendency to value single, unique art pieces over things produced in large quantities.

  • Works
  • Allan McCollum’s work is defined by his preoccupation with the phenomenon of individuality within mass quantities as a sociological issue and the artistic problem of exploring identity and individuality. His works are often characterized by an extreme accumulation of individual pieces, such as drawings or sculptural objects. Certainly the most well-known example of this are his Plaster Surrogates, Perfect Vehicles, and his Over Ten Thousand Individual Works series, which have become icons of late 20th
    century art.

     

    The Shapes Project marked a new beginning for Allan McCollum – also within the continued experimenting in a greater distribution of art works. The series is based on a system developed by the artist of combinable silhouette-like components. He can thus, with 300 individual components, produce millions of combinations and ultimately match an individual shape to each living person. Out of these approximately 31 billion shapes, the artist has set aside the potential of 214 million with which to work.
    In the past decade McCollum has experimented with numerous variations and purposes for this vast amount of shapes, including adaptations into artificial marble and laminated plywood sculptures, framed prints, hand cut paper silhouettes, scrollsawed wooden ornaments, copper cookie cutters, rubber stamps and other variations. While always well aware of the fact that the project of constructing all shapes is much too large a task to complete in his own lifetime, he encourages that others in cooperation with him find further use for them and is always interested in collaborating with local artisans and craftspeople.
    In the exhibition, 144 hand lathed, ash wood sculptures are distributed among 24 tables in groups of six. Each shape is composed in the standard four-component system of the project, yet, in this case, the top and the bottom components are mirrored in order to produce the symmetrical wooden pieces on a lathe. The rows of ash tables along with the great number of sculptures seem at first to be an overwhelming collection of objects indistinguishable from one another, filling the space of the gallery. In fact through the arrangement of groups of six allows for the viewer to move freely between the tables and appreciate the distinctive qualities but also the importance
    of the individually determined placement of each unique shape. This challenges culture’s tendency to value single, unique art pieces over things produced in large quantities.