John McCracken - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Tuesday, May 10, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Fred Hoffman Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    “A successfully abstract sculpture will tend to make the space surrounding it abstract too.”
    John McCracken

    Minimalist artist John McCracken is renowned for his colorful, single tone planks. Composed of varnish, resin, fiberglass and wood, the planks, including the present lot, Untitled, 1974, radiate a sleek and sensual surface. Unique in its distinctly painterly finish, Untitled sits on the floor and leans against the wall, forming a bridge between the ground and the surface upon which it rests. This slanted stance lands the form somewhere between a painting on the wall and a sculpture on the floor. As the artist explains, "I see the plank as existing between two worlds, the floor representing the physical world of standing objects, trees, cars, buildings, [and] human bodies, ... and the wall representing the world of the imagination, illusionist painting space, [and] human mental space" (John McCracken in Thomas Kellein, "Interview with John McCracken, August 1995," John McCracken, Kunsthalle Basel, 1995, pp. 21-39, p. 32). Untitled, 1987 presents a black and dark blue, psychedelic surface. The swirling forms convey a kaleidoscopic scene, resting between the earth and the sky. “I felt that if something was beautiful, one could enjoy looking at it and therefore stand to apprehend the form in a full way—intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually”(John McCracken, interview by Matthew Higgs, Early Sculpture/John McCracken, exh. cat. Zwirner and Wirth, New York, 2005, p. 10).

Property of an Important European Collector



varnish, resin, fiberglass and wood
94 1/2 x 17 7/8 x 2 1/4 in. (240 x 45.7 x 5.6 cm)
Signed and dated "John McCracken 1974" on the underside.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $401,000

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 10 May 2016