Artist John McCracken will forever be remembered by many as California’s master of Minimalism. He first came on the scene with “the Cool School” at the Ferus Gallery on La Cienega in LA, flourished quickly, with a series of big museum exhibitions such as Primary Structures exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York in 1966 and American Sculpture of the Sixties at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1967. Even as his sales and popularity wavered, McCracken never lost hope. High powered dealer David Zwirner began to representing the artist in 1997, and from there things took off. McCracken had a series of international exhibitions, including the Centre Pompidou’s historic Los Angeles 1955-1985: Birth of an Art Capital, which brought renewed focus to LA Art.
When McCracken left Los Angeles to teach at UCSB, he decided to sell his studio, leaving behind a huge statue titled Monolith for the new owner at a decent price.
In September 2013, an attorney called up Sullivan Goss Gallery Director Jeremy Tessmer to see if Sullivan Goss was “interested in the work of John McCracken.” Jeremy replied, “Sure, what do you have?”
Now almost two years later, the piece is on display at a public gallery for the very first time. Getting the piece authenticated and polished as difficult, but it now stands proudly at Sullivan Goss Gallery as part of their “CA Cool” exhibition. There is speculation that Monolith could have been inspired by the monolith in Stanley Kubrik’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, however, some also believe that the piece in the movie may have actually been inspired by McCracken’s earlier work. Whatever the truth is, McCracken stated, “Even before I did concerted studies of U.F.O.s, it helped me maintain my focus to think I was trying to do the kind of work that could have been brought here by a U.F.O.”
“CA Cool” is on view at Sullivan Goss Gallery through Sept. 27. To learn more about Sullivan Goss, visit the website or call 805/730-1460.