Untitled (Grey Plank)
John McCracken, American, Untitled (Grey Plank), 1978, Polyester, fiberglass, wood; 229.2 x 46.4 x 7 cm (90 1/4 x 18 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches), Mary B. Jackson Fund 2000.99
John McCracken makes spare, geometric sculptures, refining and polishing them until all traces of the artist’s hand are invisible.This lack of ornamentation and gesture are key characteristics of Minimalism. In Untitled (Grey Plank), he coated a piece of wood with fiber glass and resin and then sanded, polished, and waxed it to a flawlessly smooth finish. Nothing detracts from the sculpture’s saturated color, rectangular shape, and pristine surface. It leans against the wall at an angle as if its location were temporary, an effect that creates a quiet but powerful tension between itself and the supporting wall. Despite a surface and geometry that suggest machine perfection, the scale and position of the piece resonate with the corporeality of the viewer’s body.