Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce Shapes from Maine, a new exhibition by Allan McCollum.
Expanding upon his 2005 Shapes Project – a system to produce (and keep track of) enough unique graphic emblems for every person on the planet – Allan McCollum has enlisted four artisans from the State of Maine to create hand-made “Shapes” objects for display in New York. The selection was made after a detailed online research of artisans who run their businesses from their homes. After contacting a number of these businesses by email and discussing the possibility of having them apply their skills to his Shapes Project; McCollum ordered a selection of custom hand-made “Shapes” to be produced as copper cookie cutters, wooden ornaments, rubber stamps and hand-cut silhouettes. Displayed tightly on custom tables and along the walls, over 2,200 hand-made one-of-a-kind objects will pack the entire gallery space.
Throughout his forty-year career, Allan McCollum has wrestled with the vexed distinctions people make between objects. His work has addressed this through various methods including the object’s form, quantity, and means of production. Shapes from Maine continues to question the roles of objects, establishing distinctions between objects created by hand with those created with the aid of machines as well as with objects created in an atmosphere of personal leisure and those created in an atmosphere of entrepreneurial dreaming.
Those from Maine who helped McCollum produce the works in this exhibit are: Holly and Larry Little, founders of Aunt Holly’s Copper Cookie Cutters, in Trescott, Maine, designers and makers of copper cookie cutters; Horace and Noella Varnum, founders of Artasia, in Sedgwick, Maine, designers and makers of wooden ornaments using scrollsaw techniques; Wendy Wyman and Bill Welsh, founders of Repeat Impressions in Freeport, Maine, designers and makers of hand-crafted rubber stamps; and Ruth Monsell, founder of Artful Heirlooms, in Damariscotta, Maine, portrait artist and maker of hand-cut silhouettes.
Allan McCollum was born in 1944 Los Angeles, California, and lives and works in New York City. His work is in over 70 museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim Museum of Art, The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Solo retrospectives of McCollum’s work have been held internationally including exhibitions at the Musée d’Art Moderne, Villeneuve d’Ascq, Lille; the Sprengel Museum, Hannover; the Serpentine Gallery, London among many more. He has produced public art projects in both the United States and Europe.
Texts on McCollum’s work have been published by a number of art historians and critics, including Rosalind Krauss, Craig Owens, Hal Foster, Anne Rorimer, Lynne Cooke, Lars Nittve, Thomas Lawson, Catherine Quéloz, Helen Molesworth, Johannes Meinhardt, Claude Gintz, Suzi Gablik, Nicolas Bourriaud, Rhea Anastas, Nancy Princenthal, and Jill Gasparina.