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Allan McCollum

SELECTED WORKS
Perpetual photo #54B
1985
Unique silver gelatin print

Frame size: 8 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches (21.6 x 34.3 cm)
Signed and titled verso in ink
(Inventory #36848)

Collection of Eight Plaster Surrogates
Mold: 1982, Cast: 1993, Painted: 2013
Enamel on cast Hydrostone, in collaboration with Andrea Zittel, in eight parts

Installation dimensions are variable:
This installation: 9 1/2 x 55 inches (24.1 x 139.7 cm)
Each size varies:
6 x 4 x 11/16 inches
6 x 5 x 3/4 inches
7 x 4 x 3/4 inches
7 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 1 1/16 inches
9 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 1 1/8 inches
5 x 4 x 11/16 inches
8 5/8 x 6 5/16 x 1 1/8 inches
9 9/16 x 6 x 1 1/6 inches
Signed ‘Allan McCollum’ and dated on reverse on each element
(Inventory #25754)

Collection of Five Plaster Surrogates
1987
Enamel on cast Hydrostone in five parts

Installation dimensions are variable:
This installation: 20 x 74 3/4 inches (51 x 190 cm)
Each size varies:
18 1/8 x 12 1/8 inches
17 1/4 x 10 1/8 inches
17 1/8 x 10 1/8 inches
20 1/8 x 16 inches
16 1/8 x 13 1/8 inches
Each signed “Allan McCollum 1987” and numbered sequentially on the reverse
(Inventory #27571)

from The Shapes Project
2005/2006
One hundred and forty-four framed monoprints from Vector files

Each: 5 7/8 x 4 3/8 x 1/4 inches (3 inches when foot of stand is out)
This installation: 49 x 135 inches  (124.5 x 342.9 cm)
(Inventory #22423)

The Shapes Project: Collection of Twelve Perfect Couples
2005/2012
Acrylic with varnish on wood in twelve parts

Panel size: 10 x 10 inches each (25.4 x 25.4 cm each)
Installation dimensions are variable:
This installation: 21 x 65 inches (53.3 x 165.1 cm)
Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse
(Inventory #24654)

 

The Shapes Project: Shapes From Maine Shapes Rubber Stamps
2005/2008
Wood and rubber in 144 parts

Each element: 1 1/4 x 1 1/8 x 1 3/4 inches (3.2 x 2.9 x 4.4 cm)
Installation dimensions are variable
Each one with signed authentication card
(Inventory #25171)

Surrogate Painting
1980
Acrylic on wood

10 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches (26 x 24.1 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated on reverse
(Inventory #34315)

Visible Markers (Drawings)
1998
Four graphite drawings on rag paper

5 x 7 inches each (12.7 x 17.8 cm each)
Signed, titled, and dated on reverse of each
(Inventory #34436)

For the Millions/Just for You
2021
72 archival pigment prints adhered to an archival pigment prints

Paper size: 25 5/16 x 37 5/8 inches (64.3 x 95.6 cm)
Frame size: 33 5/8 x 46 inches (85.4 x 116.8 cm)
Initialed and dated lower right in ink on each shape
#50 from a series of 50 unique pieces
(Inventory #33512)

Untitled (077cs)
1974
Silkscreen, unique in color, with glitter printed on perforated notebook paper

Edition of 50
Image size: 1 x 33 1/2 inches (2.5 x 85.1 cm)
Paper size: 6 1/8 x 33 1/2 inches (15.6 x 85.1 cm)
Signed and dated lower left, numbered lower right in graphite
(Inventory #31127)

More Visible Markers in Four Exciting Colors
2000
Four painted hydrocal multiples

4″ diameter x 1 3/4 inches high each (10.2 x 4.4 cm each)
Signed and dated on reverse of each element
(Inventory #34440)

The Shapes Project: Threaded Shape (a095 b115 c097 d117)
2005-
2010
Unique digitized embroidered shape on cotton fabric in oval walnut frame

Walnut frame: 11 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches (28.6 x 23.5 cm)
Signed ‘Allan McCollum’ on reverse on each shape
(Inventory #27279)

The Shapes Project: Threaded Shape (a006 b026 c008 d028)
2005/2009-2010
Unique digitized embroidered shape on cotton fabric in oval walnut frame

Walnut frame: 11 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches (28.6 x 23.5 cm)
Signed ‘Allan McCollum’ on reverse
(Inventory #27286)

The Shapes Project: Threaded Shape (a096 b116 c098 d118)
2005/2009-2010
Unique digitized embroidered shape on cotton fabric in oval walnut frame

Walnut frame: 11 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches (28.6 x 23.5 cm)
Signed ‘Allan McCollum’ on reverse
(Inventory #27300)

Exhibition View
Exhibition View
Exhibition View
Additional Information

Allan McCollum was born in 1944 in Los Angeles. In 1946 his family moved to Redondo Beach, California, where he lived until 1966. He briefly studied restaurant management and industrial kitchen work at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, but decided to educate himself as an artist in 1967. In lieu of formal art education, he read the writings of artists of the international Fluxus movement, and of conceptual artists including Daniel Buren and Sol LeWitt. He also began working as a truck driver and crate builder for an art handling company in West Hollywood and learned about the mechanisms of the contemporary art world through meeting artists, art dealers, collectors, and curators. Establishing his first studio in 1970 in a converted parking garage on Venice Beach, McCollum soon began exhibiting work in Nicholas Wilder Gallery and Claire Copley Gallery, both in Los Angeles.

He moved to New York in 1975, settling in the SoHo neighborhood. Early on, his work focused on the intersection of mass production and the uniqueness, both material and conceptual, of the art object. His series Over 10,000 Individual Works (1987-88), exhibited in 1988 at John Weber Gallery, New York, comprised rows of miniature objects, each one cast separately from a unique combination of found household items, such as bottle caps and kitchen tools. McCollum repeated this process in 1989 in a series of thousands of drawings, each one created using a unique combination of hundreds of plastic drafting templates according to a systemic, nonrepetitive process. McCollum’s interest in the mass production of images and objects, and in layers of uniqueness and difference, led him to mass media as a source. In his Perpetual Photo series (1982-89), he photographed television stills, obscuring his source material through cropping and enlargement, creating a visually frustrating hybrid of copy and original.

In a recent work, The Shapes Project (2005), McCollum employed a computerized combinatorial system to generate billions of similar but nonrepeating shapes from combinations of 300 “parts,” ostensibly to provide one “for every person on the planet.” Since then, he has used the database of shapes to produce both prints and sculptures in Plexiglas, Corian, plywood, hardwood, metal, and other materials. In his 2010 publication The Book of Shapes, McCollum further explored his interest in combining conceptual and material accessibility with theoretical ideas on the “uniqueness” of the art object. The publication provides both the 300 basic shape parts and instruction for generating all possible combinations of those parts.

McCollum has been the subject of over 100 solo exhibitions at institutions including Artists Space, New York (1979-80); Portikus, Frankfurt (1988); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (1989); Denver Art Museum (1990); Musée d’art moderne de Lille Métropole, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France (1998); and Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva (2006). His work was included in Aperto at the 1988 Venice Biennale and in the So Paulo Biennial (2008). McCollum has produced numerous public art projects in the United States and Europe. He lives and works in New York.

—Text from the Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York