Lot 28
  • 28

John McCracken

Estimate
200,000 - 300,000 USD
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Description

  • John McCracken
  • Arc
  • incised with the artist's signature, title and date 1984 on the underside
  • polyester resin and fiberglass on plywood
  • 120 by 26 1/8 by 3 3/8 in. 304.8 by 66.4 by 8.6 cm.

Provenance

Flow Ace Gallery, Venice, CA
Sidney Goldfarb Collection, Malibu
Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery, San Francisco
Acquired by the present owner from the above

Condition

This work is in very good condition overall. There are a few very fine, unobtrusive scattered surface scratches noted.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Catalogue Note

At a commanding 120 inches tall with a highly polished, inimitably reflective surface and a simple geometric form, Arc embodies the California cool aesthetic and minimalist practice central to John McCracken’s oeuvre. The artist began producing his signature “plank” series, of which the present work is associated, in 1966. Managed with an assured physicality and industrial perception, the plank become a hallmark of the artist and is indeed a shining example of the West coast sensibility that helped define the Newspace Gallery.

Arc is constructed of a rectangular plywood board that has been coated with fiberglass and resin and then laboriously sanded and polished until a flawlessly flat finish is achieved consequently removing the hand of the artist. Like form, color too becomes a distinctive element when considering McCracken’s sculptures. Although he worked primarily with a monochromatic palette that included canary yellow, bubble gum pink and steel grey, Arc’s surface reveals a marbleized makeup of deep reds, purples and blues. This unusual darkness adds to the monolithic and enigmatic quality of the McCracken form.

Oriented against the wall like a painting yet occupying the floor space like a sculpture, McCracken skillfully calls attention to the physical boundaries occupied by both object and viewer. We are not simply welcomed but virtually obligated to investigate the sanitized surfaces of the work. From this examination the corporeality and totemic presence of the object is discovered and in turn, we reflect on our own mental space. And so, an exciting dialogue with the viewer is initiated only after an extended and intimate viewing experience transpires. Of the impenetrable character of planks, the artist states, “I’m after a physical object that appears to be non physical, hallucinatory or holographic. Otherworldly, in other words. I want something that suggests the coexistence of more than one dimension or world at any given moment.” (the artist in conversation with Dike Blair, March 1997) Arc is the ultimate realization of this signature sculptural quality.