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Allan McCollum
The Shapes Project: Perfect Couples

October 20, 2012 – November 24, 2012

Gallery Talk on Allan McCollum by Andrew Witkin

Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. as a part of the

Boston Art Dealers Association’s Gallery Talk Month

Barbara Krakow Gallery is proud to announce our latest exhibition with Allan McCollum:
“The Shapes Project: Perfect Couples”

Working over the past few years, McCollum has designed a system to produce unique “shapes.” This system allows him to make enough unique shapes for every person on the planet to have one of their own. It also allows him to keep track of the shapes, so as to insure that no two will ever be alike.  While previous parts of the project have been monoprints, embroideries and rubber stamps, this time McCollum has made “perfect couples” of the shapes to exist in large collections that are reminiscent of the color combinations of Sol LeWitt and the relief forms of Jean/Hans Arp, yet somehow balancing between formal abstraction and the anthropomorphizing of pairs into couples.

McCollum’s reasoning for the quantity of shapes comes from following the present rate of birth.  It is generally estimated that the world population will “peak” sometime during the middle of the present century, and then possibly begin to decline. How many people will be alive at this peak are estimated at between 8 billion and 20 billion people, depending upon what factors are considered and who is doing the considering. The most recent estimate published by the United Nations puts the figure at around 9.1 billion in the year 2050.

To make certain that his system will be able to accommodate everyone, McCollum has organized it to produce over 31,000,000,000 different shapes, which is more than the highest population estimates might require.

For the time being, a potential of around 214,000,000 shapes have been reserved within the system for creative experimentation. These can be used for many different purposes—not only for fine art and design projects, but also for various social practices: as gifts, awards, identity markers, emblems, insignias, logos, toys, souvenirs, educational tools, and so forth.

McCollum is presently using a home computer to construct Adobe Illustrator ‘vector’* files that allow the shapes to be produced in many possible ways. The shapes can be printed graphically as silhouettes or outlines, in any size, color or texture, using all varieties of graphics software; or, the files can be used by rapid prototyping machines and computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) equipment—such as routers, laser and waterjet cutters—to build, carve, or cut the shapes from wood, plastic, metal, stone, and other materials. For this exhibition, all the shapes were cut by hand on a scroll saw by Horace and Noella Varnum, founders of Artasia, in Sedgwick, Maine and the colors were designed by Marcie Paper in Brooklyn, New York.

Works In Exhibition

Exhibition View

Allan McCollum Exhibition View

Exhibition View

Allan McCollum Exhibition View

Exhibition View

Allan McCollum Exhibition View

The Shapes Project: Collection of Forty-eight Perfect Couples

Allan McCollum The Shapes Project: Collection of Forty-eight Perfect Couples 2005/2012 Acrylic with varnish on wood in forty-eight parts

Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse
Panel size:  10 x 10 inches each  (25.4 x 25.4 cm each)
This installation size:  65 x 87 inches overall (165.1 x 221 cm overall)
Installation dimensions variable
(Inventory #24645)

The Shapes Project: Collection of Sixty Perfect Couples

Allan McCollum The Shapes Project: Collection of Sixty Perfect Couples 2005/2012 Acrylic with varnish on wood in sixty parts

Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse
Panel size:  10 x 10 inches each  (25.4 x 25.4 cm each)
This installation size:  65 x 109 inches overall  (165.1 x 276.9 cm overall)
Installation dimensions variable
(Inventory #24646)

The Shapes Project: Collection of Thirty-six Perfect Couples

Allan McCollum The Shapes Project: Collection of Thirty-six Perfect Couples 2005/2012 Acrylic with varnish on wood in thirty-six parts

Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse
Panel size:  10 x 10 inches each  (25.4 x 25.4 cm each)
This installation size:  65 x 65 inches overall  (165.1 x 165.1 cm overall)
Installation dimensions variable
(Inventory #24647)

The Shapes Project: Collection of Seventy-two Perfect Couples

Allan McCollum The Shapes Project: Collection of Seventy-two Perfect Couples 2005/2012 Acrylic with varnish on wood in seventy-two parts

Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse
Panel size:  10 x 10 inches each  (25.4 x 25.4 cm each)
This installation size:  65 x 131 inches overall  (165.1 x 332.7 cm overall)
Installation dimensions variable
(Inventory #24648)

Exhibition View

Allan McCollum Exhibition View

The Shapes Project: Collection of Sixty Perfect Couples

Allan McCollum The Shapes Project: Collection of Sixty Perfect Couples 2005/2012 Acrylic with varnish on wood in sixty parts

Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse
Panel size:  10 x 10 inches each  (25.4 x 25.4 cm each)
This installation size:  54 x 131 inches overall  (137.2 x 332.7 cm overall)
Installation dimensions variable
(Inventory #24649)

 

Exhibition View

Allan McCollum Exhibition View

Exhibition View

Allan McCollum Exhibition View

The Shapes Project: Collection of Twenty-four Perfect Couples

Allan McCollum The Shapes Project: Collection of Twenty-four Perfect Couples 2005/2012 Acrylic with varnish on wood in twenty-four parts

Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse
Panel size:  10 x 10 inches each  (25.4 x 25.4 cm each)
This installation size:  43 x 65 inches overall  (109.2 x 165.1 cm overall)
Installation dimensions variable
(Inventory #24650)

The Shapes Project: Collection of Twelve Perfect Couples

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

Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse
Panel size:  10 x 10 inches each  (25.4 x 25.4 cm each)
This installation size:  32 x 43 inches overall  (81.3 x 109.2 cm overall)
Installation dimensions variable
(Inventory #24651)

The Shapes Project: Collection of Sixty Perfect Couples

Allan McCollum The Shapes Project: Collection of Sixty Perfect Couples 2005/2012 Acrylic with varnish on wood in sixty parts

Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse
Panel size:  10 x 10 inches each  (25.4 x 25.4 cm each)
This installation size:  54 x 131 inches overall  (137.2 x 332.7 cm overall)
Installation dimensions variable
(Inventory #24653)

Exhibition View

Allan McCollum Exhibition View

The Shapes Project: Collection of Eighty-four Perfect Couples

Allan McCollum The Shapes Project: Collection of Eighty-four Perfect Couples 2005/2012 Acrylic with varnish on wood in eighty-four parts

Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse
Panel size:  10 x 10 inches each  (25.4 x 25.4 cm each)
This installation size:  65 x 153 inches overall  (165.1 x 388.6 cm overall)
Installation dimensions variable
(Inventory #24652)

The Shapes Project: Collection of Twelve Perfect Couples

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

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

Exhibition View

Allan McCollum Exhibition View 2005/2012

The Shapes Project: Shapes To Paint, 2005/2012
Each piece is a unique sculpture made from New England rock maple on wood panel
Identification numbered on reverse
8 x 6 inches  (20.3 x 15.2 cm)

 

Available for donation to Artists for Humanity.  Please contact gallery for details.