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 Allan McCollum  (1944 - )

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Lived/Active: New York/California      Known for: sculptor, collage, abstract painter, printmaker

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Ad Code: 2
Allan McCollum
from Auction House Records.
384 Plaster Surrogates
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Allan McCollum is best known for his arrangements of small, solid black paintings surrounded by white matte and framed in wood. McCollums idea for this expression grew out of his interest in defining painting and reducing it to a few elements. This pursuit has allowed him to produce a consistent body of work that changes very little.

His "Surrogates" as these small framed paintings are called, represent a universal sign of painting; they remove the identifiable image or the art from the viewer. His original idea of creating only one painting to exhibit repeatedly was altered to accommodate the potential for the art piece to be bought and sold as a true art object. His early "Surrogates" varied slightly in material and frame color. His later versions, cast from molds into plaster, expand upon the idea of a mass-produced generic object.

In the first part of his career, McCollum grew through many stages of painting. He started with what he called "Bleach Paintings," "Constructed Paintings," and "Untitled Paper Constructions" in the 1970s and then in 1978, started work on the "Surrogates." In the 1980s, he changed his format to more three-dimensional objects in his "Ideal Settings" and "Perfect Vehicles," both were collections of objects put into real settings.

He continues to experiment with new materials and expressions even today. He has had exhibitions at many galleries and museums in the United States including: Douglas Drake Gallery, Kansas (1975, 1979), Hal Bromm Gallery, New York (1980), Ben Shahn Galleries (1982), The John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art (1988), John Weber Gallery, New York (1992).

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