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Cop Head 69, 2006, acrylic THE ODD COUPLE:
and silk-screen ink on ANTHONY MCCALL & IMI KNOEBEL
canvas, 193 x 152 cm.
Courtesy Peres Projects,
Los Angeles and Berlin Project, Transform, Erase: Anthony
McCall and Imi Knoebel, at SFMOMA
this month, charts some unexpected
connections between two artists who
are rarely, if ever, associated. Over
a handful of years in the mid-1970s,
British-born McCall pioneered an
expansive, post-minimalist practice with
‘solid light’ films like Line Describing
a Cone (1973), in which a projected dot
of light’s gradual extension into an
audience-encompassing conical volume
gave newfound porosity to cinema,
sculpture and spectatorship. Knoebel
also dabbled in light projection when
he and some rather impressive peers
(Jörg Immendorff, Blinky Palermo)
studied under Beuys in the mid-1960s,
but made a name for himself with
painting and sculpture that borrowed
his teacher’s concern with site-specific
modulation yet eschewed the socio-
mythological baggage. STRIKE A POSE:
MUNTEAN/ROSENBLUM Untitled (Memories are a great trap…), At SFMOMA both artists are presenting
2007, oil on canvas, 220 x 260 cm. single works that share a constellation
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London, and Markus Muntean and Adi
Team Gallery, New York of points, including light and film Rosenblum have come a long
projection, geometric abstraction
way since first collaborating, and human corporeality. You and I,
in 1992. After a spate politics underlying those Horizontal (2005) contemporises McCall’s
of gory, rough-and-ready decisions. Baroque conventions light-based practice, which he only
early projects (one of are currently occupying the recently resumed after a two-decade
which, 1997’s Slaymobil, pair’s minds: newly painterly hiatus, by replacing 16mm film with
involved fashionably slender works such as 2007’s Untitled looping, digitally projected computer
youths, skin apparently (Memories are a great trap…), animation. A rare Knoebel video will
slashed, sitting in the with its assortment of also be on display: Projektion X
awkward manner of Playmobil swooning and posing youngsters (1971–2) follows an X-shaped beam
toys), they hit their (and one worried-looking of projected light on a nocturnal
stride with comparatively oldster) in a wrecker’s yard, path through Darmstadt, Germany, as
understated large-scale employ exaggerated spatial it catches various cityscapes and
drawings of teenagers and dynamics straight from a pedestrians in its luminous crosshairs.
twentysomethings. Captioned seventeenth-century textbook. Tyler Coburn
with phrases that feel Such works are also heavy
existentialist and sincere with insinuations of oncoming ANTHONY MCCALL AND IMI KNOEBEL
but are actually lifted from redundancy, but perhaps 9 JUNE – 30 SEPTEMBER, SFMOMA,
lowbrow fiction, and featuring deceptively so. You can still SAN FRANCISCO, WWW.SFMOMA.ORG
their logo-festooned subjects view Muntean/Rosenblum as
adopting a repertoire of poses cynics or as elegists for
that bridged fashion ads and their consumerist generation
Old Master paintings, these and the ones below it; but
works seemingly walked a these paintings (and videos
fine line between elevation such as the 2006 Shroud, with
and denigration of a branded its approximately Christlike
demographic. image of a pulchritudinous
youth, lying half-naked and
But as they said recently, apparently dead between a
the Vienna- and London-based vehicle’s big wheels) also
duo are “interested in the remind one of how easy it is
archetypes of figuration”, to influence opinion, and how
and one might accordingly read necessary – whether you’re a
their paintings as swirling, priest, a fashion marketer or
disjunctive compendiums of an artist. Martin Herbert
how people are represented,
past and present, and the MUNTEAN/ROSENBLUM
26 MAY – 15 JULY
WWW.MAUREENPALEY.COM Anthony McCall, You and I, Horizontal, 2005, computer, computer script, video projector and haze machine, 50-min cycle in six parts, dimensions
variable. © the artist. Collection SFMOMA, San Francisco
ARTREVIEW three.linsix.lin
p033-034 Dispatches AR Jun07.ind36 36 5/5/07 22:21:01
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