What Makes a Minimalist Sculpture Good?
Working with what he called “planks,” John McCracken created Minimalist sculptures that bridge the material world with the metaphysical. By leaning the planks against the wall, McCracken’s intention was to connect the spheres of two-dimensional painting and three-dimensional sculpture. His method involved a laborious process of painting, sanding, and polishing the polyester resin on each plywood board to achieve a flawless patina that looks machine-made, bringing to mind the 1960s West Coast “Finish Fetish Art” aesthetic. The most dramatic effect of his glossy surfaces is the way they become as reflective as mirrors and oftentimes seem to disappear altogether, such as in his 1985 work Akitanai. “My tendency,” McCracken once said, “is to reduce or develop everything to 'single things'—things which refer to nothing outside [themselves] but which at the same time possibly refer, or relate, to everything.”
American , 1934-2011, Berkeley, California