Anthony McCall

BIOGRAPHY

1946-

Anthony McCall is a British-born New York based artist known for his ‘solid-light’ installations, a series that he began in 1973 with “Line Describing a Cone,” in which a volumetric form composed of projected light slowly evolves in three-dimensional space.


Occupying a space between cinema, sculpture, and drawing, his work’s historical importance 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,” Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC (2008); and “On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century,” Museum of Modern Art (2010–11).


At the end of the 1970s, McCall withdrew from making art. Some twenty years later, he acquired a new dynamic and re-opened his 'solid light' series, this time using digital animation and digital projection rather than 16mm film. The first of the new works, “Doubling Back” (2003) was exhibited at the 2004 Whitney Biennial. McCall developed the use of a slow-moving cinematic ‘wipe’ in order to combine and separate two opposing forms within one volumetric object; the new works also explored the extended cyclical ‘installation’ structure that he had first developed in the film-based work of the seventies. New installations included “You and I, Horizontal” (2006), “Leaving, with Two-Minute Silence” (2009), and “Face to Face” (2013).


McCall also developed a parallel series of vertically oriented works, starting with “Breath” (2004) in which a projector mounted on the ceiling projects directly downwards onto the floor, creating a ten-metre-tall, tent-like, almost architectural enclosure with a 4-metre wide base. Other vertical works included “Between You and I“ (2006), “Meeting You Halfway” (2009), and “Coupling” (2009).