SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The New Art Trust 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 NATs 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 July 22, 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.
McCalls groundbreaking solid light installations, which the artist began working on in New York in 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 componentslight and timeremoving 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 airwhich 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 workcatch 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 McCalls work, noted Pamela Kramlich, Chair of New Art Trusts 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 lights 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 paper-covered 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 artists statement on the opposite wall, Notes on Duration.
In addition, the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery have 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 McCalls 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.
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, Hirshhorn Museum, 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 Moderns 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 Tates collection; and three works from the NAT promised gift: Partial Cone, 1974, Cone of Variable Volume, 1974, and Conical Solid, 1974.. In addition, McCalls 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 Pauls Cray, England, in 1946, and studied at Ravensbourne College of Art & Design. He lives and works in New York City.