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"Shapes Ornaments"Allan McCollum
Horace & Noella Varnum in Sedgwick, Maine, describe their experiences working with artist Allan McCollum on the Shapes from Maine (2009) exhibition at Friedrich Petzel Gallery in New York.More information and credits
Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Dowling. Camera: Richard Kane & Joel Shapiro. Sound: Kenny Weinberg. Editor: Lizzie Donahue & Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: Allan McCollum. Special Thanks: Horace & Noella Varnum.
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Applying strategies of mass production to handmade objects, Allan McCollum’s labor-intensive practice questions the intrinsic value of the unique work of art. McCollum’s installations—fields of vast numbers of small-scale works, systematically arranged—are the product of many tiny gestures, built up over time. Viewing his work often produces a sublime effect—as one slowly realizes that the dizzying array of thousands of identical-looking shapes is, in fact, composed of subtly different, distinct things. Economical in form, yet curious in function, his work and mechanical-looking processes are infused with humor and humility.