Solid Light Works

Anthony McCall

Anthony McCall’s exhibition Solid Light Works, which consists of six large-scale, vertical and horizontal projections, marks the first time these installations have been shown in the United States. They are especially suited to Pioneer Works; it is the only space in New York able to accommodate their monumental scale. The four vertical works will occupy the entirety of the organization’s 140-foot long and nearly 40-foot-high main hall.

A seminal figure of Expanded Cinema, McCall is well known for his “solid-light works.” It was a series he began in 1973 with the 16mm film Line Describing a Cone, in which a volumetric form composed of a beam of projected light slowly evolves in real, three-dimensional space.

McCall regards these works as occupying a place somewhere between sculpture, cinema, and drawing: sculpture because the projected volumes must be occupied and explored by a moving spectator; cinema because these large-scale objects are not static, but structured to progressively shift and change over time; and drawing, because the genesis of each installation is a two-dimensional line-drawing.

The historical importance of McCall’s work has been recognized in such exhibitions as “Into the Light: the Projected Image in American Art 1964-77,” Whitney Museum of American Art (2001-2); “The Expanded Screen: Actions and Installations of the Sixties and Seventies,” Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna (2003-4); “The Expanded Eye,” Kunsthaus Zurich (2006); “Beyond Cinema: the Art of Projection,” Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2006-7); “The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality and the Projected Image,” and Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC (2008); and “Dreamlands”, Whitney Museum of American Art (2017). 

His work has also been shown at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; MoMA New York; SFMoMA; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Serpentine Gallery, London; Tate Modern, London; EYE Film Museum, Amsterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Hangar Bicocca, Milan; Lugano Arte e Cultura; Fundacio Gaspar, Barcelona, amongst others.

Anthony McCall lives and works in New York.