Anthony McCall: Swell 2016-17

Curated by JoAnne Northrup
Nevada Museum of Art, July 29, 2016 – January 8, 2017

The Nevada Museum of Art commissioned New York-based artist Anthony McCall to create a new “solid light” sculpture titled Swell, which represents a change of direction for his immersive light installations. Inspired by the movement of bodies of water, this commission draws explicit connections between wave forms the artist used in his earlier digital works, and the liquid motion of floating objects.

A McCall solid light work is best understood as a sculptural object made of light, modified and shaped over time. Each installation begins as a simple line drawing, which is set in motion using an animation program. Once the animation is aligned to a physical gallery space, mist from a haze machine makes the projected light beams visible. The various stages of movement are frozen in sequential “footprint” drawings, a group of which are on view nearby.

Upon entering this darkened gallery, visitors will discover two projected beams of light passing diagonally through the space. The light beams converge as a two-dimensional line drawing on the opposite wall. These intersecting forms, one a simple flat blade and the other an incomplete cone, create surprising topologies of shifting, translucent, three-dimensional spaces.

© Nevada Museum of Art 2016