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LACMA Explores the Allure of Matter Ocula Report LACMA Explores the Allure of Matter 14 Jun 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (2 June 2019–5 January 2020) is an inter-generational show of 21 Chinese artists working from the 1980s to the present, including Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Lin Tianmiao, Song Dong, He Xiangyu, Yin Xiuzhen, and Ma Qiusha.Staged on Level 2 of LACMA's Renzo...

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Thomas J Price: Reframing Classical Sculpture Ocula Conversation Thomas J Price: Reframing Classical Sculpture

When the London-born artist Thomas J Price graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chelsea College of Arts in 2004, the school's college art prize was by no means his most notable accomplishment as an emerging artist. In 2001, Price presented his much-talked-about work Licked, a daring performance, later profiled on the BBC 4 television...

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Art Basel Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Art Basel Lowdown: Shows to See 6 Jun 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

To coincide with Art Basel 2019, which opens to the public from 13 to 16 June, galleries and institutions across the city are presenting a range of stellar exhibitions. From Rebecca Horn at Museum Tinguely to Geumhyung Jeong at Kunsthalle Basel, here is a selection of what to see.William Kentridge, Dead Remus (2014–2016). Charcoal on found ledger...

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Anthony McCall

b. 1946, United Kingdom

British artist Anthony McCall's practice is characterised by a keenness towards expanding the definition of cinema. He is known as a pioneer of film and installation experimentation. His artworks cross through film, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance, and become all five at once.

Part of the 1970s London Film-makers Co-operative, McCall began making experimental films in London in 1971. His early films recorded outdoor performances. Landscape for Fire (1972), for example, records the lighting on fire and burning of 36 containers of flammable material in a field. In works of this period, McCall used the camera to capture events that would otherwise be lost to time. In later works, the screening of the film itself became the event.

McCall made the transition away from works such as Landscape for Fire when he moved to New York in 1973. Not long after this move he created the first film of his 'Solid Light' series: Line Describing a Cone (1973). The film was exhibited at venues throughout New York, such as the Millennium Film Workshop and Artists Space. In these initial presentations, viewers were invited to scheduled screenings. However, it is now more common that the film is played on continuous loop when it is exhibited. A projection from 16mm film, Line Describing a Cone remains perhaps McCall's most famous artwork. The projector is placed on one side of a room and projects across to the other side. The film is an animation of an arcing line that, over the course of 30 minutes, draws out a circle. The circle, when complete, is between eight and eleven feet wide. A smoke machine is used to add to the strength of the light beam as it travels across the room, making the beam appear almost as a solid line. In Line Describing a Cone McCall condenses film to its most basic components—time and light—and in these forms allows the projected image to inhabit the same space as the viewer. By doing so, McCall expanded the scope of cinema from a two-dimensional report of the three-dimensional world, into a part of the three-dimensional world itself.

McCall's art is a live being, in which each precise moment of a viewer experiencing the work is a new chance for cinematic time and space to recreate itself. While on the flat picture plane Line Describing a Cone shows a circle, spatially the beam of light, at 30 to 60 feet long, depicts a hollow cone. Both form and light, the cone is simultaneously material and immaterial. According to McCall the installation is to be engaged with as if it were sculpture—viewed from all sides. To fully experience the work it also must be moved through and looked at from the inside. When a viewer passes through the work, the line of the forming circle and cone is sliced. This process causes the viewer to transition from passive observer to participant, actor and director. The viewer alters the narrative with his or her physical intervention, allowing for a different story to play out each screening.

From the late-1970s, McCall took an extended leave from his art practice. More than 20 years later he returned to his 'Solid Light' series and began working with digital projectors. Since this comeback, exhibitions have included Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art 1964–1977, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2001–2); X-Screen: Film Installations and Actions in the 1960s and 1970s, Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna (2003–4); Eyes, Lies and Illusions, Hayward Gallery, London (2004–5); and The Expanded Eye, Kunsthaus Zürich (2006). Anthony McCall received an Arts and Letters Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2016.

Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Split Second (Mirror) by Anthony McCall contemporary artwork
Anthony McCallSplit Second (Mirror), 2018 Media player, QuickTime movie file, digital projector, haze machine, mirror
Sean Kelly
Split Second by Anthony McCall contemporary artwork
Anthony McCallSplit Second, 2018 Media player, two QuickTime movie files, two digital projectors, two haze machines
Sean Kelly
Landscape for Fire II by Anthony McCall contemporary artwork
Anthony McCallLandscape for Fire II, 1972/2018 Gelatin silver print mounted on museum board and aluminium
85.1 x 127 cm
Sean Kelly
Spinning Column 1 by Anthony McCall contemporary artwork
Anthony McCallSpinning Column 1, 2018 Gelatin silver print mounted on museum board and aluminium
85.1 x 60 cm
Sean Kelly
Recording Artist by Anthony McCall contemporary artwork
Anthony McCallRecording Artist, 1970/2018 Archival dye sublimation print on aluminium
25.4 x 38.1 cm
Sean Kelly
Doubling Back by Anthony McCall contemporary artwork
Anthony McCallDoubling Back, 2003 Media player, QuickTime movie file, digital projector, haze machine
Sean Kelly
Smoke without Fire by Anthony McCall contemporary artwork
Anthony McCallSmoke without Fire, 1972/2018 Gelatin silver print mounted on museum board and aluminium
85.4 x 127.6 cm
Sean Kelly
Smoke Screen I by Anthony McCall contemporary artwork
Anthony McCallSmoke Screen I, 2017 Gelatin silver print mounted on museum board and aluminium
155.9 x 114.5 cm
Sean Kelly

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Anthony McCall, Split Second at Sean Kelly, New York
Closed
14 December 2018–26 January 2019 Anthony McCall Split Second Sean Kelly, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Anthony McCall, Anthony McCall at Sprüth Magers, London
Closed
22 February–31 March 2018 Anthony McCall Anthony McCall Sprüth Magers, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Anthony McCall, 1970s Solid-Light Works at Sprüth Magers, Berlin
Closed
22 November 2013–25 January 2014 Anthony McCall 1970s Solid-Light Works Sprüth Magers, Berlin

Represented By

In Related Press

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Dreamlands: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA Related Press Dreamlands: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA Frieze : 14 December 2016

After decades of eulogies and solemn pronouncements around The Death of Cinema – 20 years if you date it to Susan Sontag’s The Decay of Cinema (1996); nearly half a century if you go back to the ‘Fin du cinema’ kicker of Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend (1967) – a few enterprising souls have begun trying to account for...

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At the Whitney, a different take on the moving image Related Press At the Whitney, a different take on the moving image The Wall Street Journal : 26 October 2016

Opening Friday at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 presents a bracingly different take on the moving image—not as something to catch on your phone or binge-watch on weekends, but a full-body experience engaging all the senses.'The history of cinema has been written and...

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Review: Loop Barcelona Related Press Review: Loop Barcelona Art Agenda : 29 June 2016

Barcelona’s Loop art fair, which started in 2003, is the oldest and most established initiative to assert the commercial potential of film and video. The medium’s ephemeral nature, and its associations with the very different market values of cinema, have contributed to a continued reluctance from collectors, attracted by the aura of...

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'Solid Light': Interview with Anthony McCall Related Press 'Solid Light': Interview with Anthony McCall Frieze : 13 June 2016

Since making his first film, Line Describing a Cone, in 1973, British-born New York-based artist Anthony McCall has worked with sculpture, cinema and drawing. His recent works consider the relationship between artworks and their audience in three-dimensional space. Now 70 years old, McCall’s show Solid Light, Performance and Public...

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