Allan McCollum, an artist featured in Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s, became well known in the late 1970s for his series Surrogate Paintings and continues to be recognized for utilizing methods of mass production to render countless unique forms. As seen in his current solo exhibition Perfect Couples at Petzel Gallery in New York, a recurrent theme in McCollum’s work is the fantasy of ubiquitous distribution, what he refers to as “our dreams of things appearing everywhere at once,” as well as his ongoing challenge to our culture’s tendency to favor unique artworks. To view a mass field of McCollum’s individual shapes as images on the wall or objects on the floor is both awesome and perplexing.
With a penchant toward fostering connections and identifying individuality, McCollum has occasionally created works that directly engage communities and has called on individual craftsmen. In addition to conducting interviews and writing about the work of fellow artists, he has participated in collaborations with a variety of artists, including Andrea Fraser, Matt Mullican, Laurie Simmons, and Andrea Zittel.
For Tuesday Evenings, Allan McCollum looks at the persistence and development of ideas and forms over an enduring and impressive career.