Anthony McCall

Serpentine Galleries

In the 1970s, when Anthony McCall’s Solid Light sculptures were first projected in galleries and loft spaces, cigarette smoke and dust particles filled the air promiscuously, allowing his room-size sculptural projections to function. Before the days of smoking bans and filter systems, works such as Line Describing a Cone, 1973—a projected white dot in a completely darkened space that slowly grows, over thirty minutes, into a circular line on the facing wall, eventually filling the blackness with a conical “volume” in space—did not depend on a hazer of the kind that is nowadays used to produce the (nontoxic) mist indispensable to making McCall’s artworks visible.

The tolerance for insalubrious gallery air is not all that has changed since McCall first exhibited these works, before his twenty-year absence from art in the ’80s and ’90s and his return to artmaking in the present decade. Back

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