In this course, students will explore how conceptual artist Allan McCollum uses objects to convey information about people and places, often blurring the boundary between unique artifacts and mass production. Additionally, students will investigate how objects can attain or hold cultural value and meaning. Students will create woven paintings as well as their own unique artifacts.
Allan McCollum was born in 1944 in Los Angeles. He is a conceptual artist who applies techniques of mass production to handmade objects. He is interested in the trace of human touch in contrast to unemotional industrial processes.
Beginning with the artist’s earliest major works, the exhibition includes a selection of “Bleach Paintings” and “Constructed Paintings” (both begun in 1969). In these rarely seen works, the artist uses common consumer goods (dye, bleach, sailing canvas, caulking) to create large canvases in rhythmic patterns constructed of hundreds of individual parts. The paintings are mechanical and repetitive like objects made in a factory.
Since the late 1960s, McCollum has created works that examine the art object’s relationship to uniqueness, context, and value, as well as to the museum that collects, values, and preserves it. In his work McCollum has used the idea of the collection to explore how we remember, care for, and privilege various material artifacts.