Since the late 1970s, Allan McCollum has addressed the production, distribution, acquisition, display, and reading of the artwork.
Art as a symbol of social and economic status, and thus the museum and the commercial gallery as authorities, have been the focus of his work from his first Surrogate Paintings (1978 – 1982), his Individual Works (1987 – 1989), his recent Shapes Project (since 2005), through the famous series of Plaster Surrogates (started in 1982), among others, as well as in collaborations with Louise Lawler and Laurie Simmons.
In the 1990s, the artist’s ‘art objects’ were replaced by found objects belonging to a situated context and community, in an effort to explore local micro-politics.
Working with regional museums, heterogeneous audiences, and references ranging from paleontology to mineralogy, Allan McCollum has built a very strong and intriguing body of works that has remained, in large part, unknown to the art world.
This is the first retrospective monograph on McCollum’s work.