Anthony McCall Creates Transcendent Sculptures with Light and Mist
Art Business

Anthony McCall Creates Transcendent Sculptures with Light and Mist

Installation view of Anthony McCall, Split Second (Mirror) , 2018 at Sean Kelly, New York, 2018. Photo by Dan Brandica. Courtesy of Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Cocooned inside a blanket of light, a misty haze swirls at your waist, while all directions of your peripheral vision are illuminated. Look toward the light, and a vanishing point appears like a distant, unexplored horizon. From the inside of Anthony McCall ’s solid lightwork Throes II (2011) , light feels tangible, space malleable, time immeasurable. You feel transported. McCall creates illusions of solid light by projecting simple two-dimensional shapes through a thin haze. Plunging down from the ceiling or stretching out from one wall to the next, the works are comprised of hardly more than light and mist. But grounded in this simplicity is inexplicability. The light work is simultaneously a film without content, a room without walls, and a sculpture without mass. “Only as your body goes through the space, as you interact with the sculpture, does that first encounter start becoming something that you can comprehend,” explained Cathleen Chaffee, chief curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. “You make sense of it with your body—with your arms and hands as […]

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