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  • Provenance

    David Zwirner, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    The early sculptures were figure- or head-like, the pyramid and post and lintel were more architectural. Then the blocks and slabs were more or less both, and the plank is more figurative, through at the same time like an architectural element… Thinking up the plank did seem radical. I’d made rectangular forms, and I wondered if I could make a further reductive step beyond those forms. I had in my studio some block sculptures, and leaning against a wall, pieces of plywood that were used for making such forms. It seemed to me that the next step would have to be to make a board, or a sheet the simplest possible. So I did. The first plank forms were what I considered to be archetypal boards—i.e., something that’s ‘just a board’— eight feet long, a foot wide, and in inch thick. Then I made a half-inch-thick sheet about seven feet tall and four feet wide. The next ones were thicker, with a little more substance as a ‘being,’ or 3-D entity, and were more literally ‘planks.’ (Webster’s says a plank is generally 2 to 4 inches thick.) I think I expected to affect art to some degree. I’d liked some seemingly simple works of art- Egyptian columns, Newman’s paintings, Andre’s row of bricks, Flavin’s single fluorescent tube, etc.—and those things had seemed to me to have gotten something interesting together—they had an energy of their own—and had definitely seemed to have reality-changing potentials.
    John McCracken, in an interview with M. Higgs, Early Sculpture / John
    McCracken, NewYork, 2005, pp. 8-9


Black Plank

Polyester resin, fiberglass, and plywood.
95 1/4 x 18 1/4 x 1 5/8 in. (241.9 x 46.4 x 4.1 cm).
Signed and dated “John McCracken 1-72” on the underside.

£60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for £180,000

Contemporary Art

22 June 2007, 4pm & 5pm