San Francisco, CA – 12 July 2012 – The New Art Trust (NAT) today announced the promised gift of a cohesive body of work by Anthony McCall, consisting of six Solid Light Films and related materials from the 1970s, by Pamela and Richard Kramlich. Two additional works related to the seminal series have also been donated to the Trust by the artist. All work will be made available for presentation to the NAT’s three consortium members, who are the focus of its programs and resources, and include: the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); and Tate, United Kingdom, which will present a selection of these works in Anthony McCall: The Four Cone Films on 22 July 2012, in the new Tanks at Tate Modern, London. This acquisition ensures the preservation of the complete series in perpetuity, while also allowing the artist continued access to the master versions of the films. Founded fifteen years ago by the Kramlichs, the New Art Trust has participated in the preservation and presentation of hundreds of time-based media works of historical, artistic, and social significance since its inception.
McCall’s groundbreaking ‘solid light’ installations, which the artist began working on in New Yorkin the early 1970s, draw upon the sculptural qualities of the light that emanates from film projectors. Echoing the stylistic concerns of Structural filmmakers, who placed emphasis on form over content, McCall deconstructs film to its principal components – light and time – removing sound, screen, and storyline. The Solid Light Films are presented in darkened, haze-filled rooms, where the projected beams of light are revealed as three-dimensional planes that sweep through the space, or volumetric forms that incorporate the spectator. Particulate matter in the air – which today is enhanced by the use of haze machines, but which originally included dust and cigarette smoke that swirled freely in the 1970s galleries and alternative spaces where McCall showed his work—catch and reflect the projected light, helping to give an almost tactile immediacy to the translucent forms. The installations reflect the rigorous geometries embraced by abstract minimalist sculptors, such as Walter de Maria, Richard Serra, Sol LeWitt, and Fred Sandback. The work is unique in its status as both cinema and sculpture.
The New Art Trust is dedicated to preserving time-based media works and expanding the collection resources in this field for our consortium members. Our goal with this acquisition is to make this groundbreaking series more readily available to museum visitors, to ensure the long-term conservation and preservation of this series as a united body of work, and to build greater appreciation of McCall’s work, noted Pamela Kramlich, Chair of New Art Trust’s Board of Trustees.
The six film installations include:
- Conical Solid, 1974, which projects a flat blade of light that rotates from a fixed central axis at eight different speeds over the course of its ten-minute run;
- Cone of Variable Volume, 1974, which presents a cone of light that repeatedly expands and contracts at four different speeds over the course of its ten-minute run;
- Partial Cone, 1974, which creates a range of surface qualities across a half-cone of light, from solid through glimmering, blinking, and flashing, over the course of its fifteen-minute run;
- Long Film for Four Projectors, 1974, a large-scale, nearly six-hour installation for four projectors that creates an active field of interpenetrating blades of light which surround the viewer as the blades repeatedly sweep through space;
- Four Projected Movements, 1975, the last “solid light” installation that uses projector and film, this seventy-five-minute installation explores the relationship between the triangular plane of light and the adjacent wall and floor, and the active role of the projector in altering the plane of light’s orientation and direction of movement in space;
- Long Film for Ambient Light, 1975, a site-specific installation that uses no actual film equipment but instead incorporates three distinct elements to form the “film”: an altered space with papercovered windows and a single electric light bulb dangling at eye level; a time schema on the wall that elucidates the temporal structure of the of the work; and an artist’s statement on the opposite wall, ‘Notes on Duration.’
In addition, the artist andSeanKellyGalleryhave donated two related works to the New Art Trust to further support the presentation and greater understanding of the series:
- Long Film for Four Projectors (‘In Passing’) – Camera Schema, 1974, a work on paper precisely outlining the sixteen-part structure of the constituent reels of the film Long Film for Four Projectors;
- Line Describing a Cone 2.0, 1973/2010, a digital re-make and reinterpretation of McCall’s landmark 1973 thirty-minute film installation Line Describing a Cone, which is currently in the collections of both the MoMA and the Tate.
The Sold Light Films were first published comprehensively in 2005 in the monograph Anthony McCall:The Solid Light Films and Related Works, co-published by the NAT and Northwestern University Press. The book includes curatorial essays, artist interviews, historical photographs, diagrams, and other archival materials as well as the first photo-documentation ever made of these works, including the never-before photographed Long Film for Four Projectors.
Notes to Editor
About Anthony McCall
A seminal artist of avant-garde film and moving-image art, Anthony McCall has produced films, installations, and performances since the mid-1970s that use projective space and light as key components. Occupying a space between sculpture, cinema, and drawing, his work is included in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, HirshhornMuseum, MoMA, SFMOMA, Tate, and the Whitney Museum, among others. Most recently he has been commissioned by the Arts Council England to create a new work for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The work, Column, will be a spinning column of cloud that rises vertically from the surface of the water into the sky. On July 22, 2012, Anthony McCall: The Four Cone Films will be presented in the Tate Modern’s Tanks, new galleries dedicated to exhibiting live art, performance, installation, and film works. The works on view include Line Describing a Cone, 1973, from the Tate’s collection; and three works from the NAT promised gift: Partial Cone, 1974, Cone of Variable Volume, 1974, and Conical Solid, 1974.
For further information about this exhibition, please go to www.tate.org.uk. In addition, McCall’s “solid light” installations are currently on view through August 2012 as part of the solo exhibition Five Minutes of Pure Sculpture at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.
McCall is represented by Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, which facilitated this acquisition; Sprueth Magers, Berlin and London; Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne; and Galerie Martine Aboucaya, Paris. He was born St Paul’s Cray, England, in 1946, and studied at RavensbourneCollege of Art & Design. He lives and works in New York City.
About the Kramlich Collection
Pamela and Richard Kramlich have created one of the foremost collections of media works in public or private hands, which they began building in the early 1990s, a time when collecting primarily time-based works was unprecedented and considered an unlikely pursuit. Since then, the Kramlich Collection has grown to include some 300 works by more than 60 international artists.
About the New Art Trust
Founded in 1997 by Pamela and Richard Kramlich, the New Art Trust advances media arts through the support of research and scholarship in the field. The Trust facilitates the conservation and presentation of important time-based media works and has significantly increased awareness of the unique conditions media-art installation presents for both private collectors and collecting institutions. NAT shares its collection holdings with the MoMA, SFMOMA, and Tate and partners with these three institutions to advance and disseminate the public research related to the special requirements of media artworks. In spring 2005 the Trust’s partners collaborated to launch Matters in Media Art (www.tate.org.uk/about/projects/matters-media-art), a public Web site providing best-practice guidelines and emerging practice updates for the care of time-based media, including acquisition processes and loan agreement standards.