Collection of Five Plaster Surrogates, by Allan McCollum, 1982/1990

Allan McCollum, Artist
Collection of Five Plaster Surrogates , 1982/1990

Enamel on Hydrocal
20 1/4 x 69 1/4 x 1 3/4 in. (51.4 x 175.9 x 4.4 cm)
Credit Line
The Knez Family Collection, Boston. Image courtesy of the artist and Petzel Gallery

Allan McCollum's practice integrates modernist painting, conceptual art, and legacies of the readymade as a means to interrogate the ontology of art. Applying strategies of mass production to finely crafted handmade objects, McCollum carries modernist reductionism to its parodic extreme by highlighting the nominal means by which painting, photography, and sculpture are recognized as such. His multiple series of nearly identical minimal paintings and sculptures, which function as what he has called a "universal sign-for-painting"—reveal that those conventions exist not only within the borders of the art objects themselves but also in the relationships and expectations generated by these objects in the various contexts of art's distribution and consumption.