Anthony McCall

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Anthony McCall (right) at Gallery Zander, Cologne

Anthony McCall (born 1940) is a British-born American avant-garde artist specializing in cinema/projected film.[1]


McCall studied graphic design at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, Bromley, Kent, England in the late 1960s and experimented with film during that time.

McCall was a key figure in the avant-garde London Film-makers Co-operative in the 1970s and his earliest films are documents of outdoor performances that were notable for their minimal use of the elements, most notably fire.[2]

After moving to New York in 1973, McCall continued his fire performances and developed his 'solid light' film series, conceiving the Line Describing a Cone, in 1973. These works are simple projections that emphasise the sculptural qualities of a beam of light.[3]

At the end of the 1970s, McCall withdrew from making art. Over 20 years later, he acquired a new dynamic and re-opened his 'solid light' series, this time using digital projectors rather than 16mm film.[4]

In October 2009, McCall's work was featured in a solo show opening at the Moderna Museet. This exhibition showcased Doubling Back (2003) as well as a light installation entitled You and I, Horizontal (2005). Also included in the show were a number of drawings illustrating varied motions of light waves, which the artist refers to as "scores" of his films.[5]

Later in 2009, McCall was awarded £500,000 from the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad to create a work consisting of a column of steam in Birkenhead which was planned to be visible up to 100 km away.[6] In April 2013 it was announced that the work would never be completed despite already costing £535,000 [7]

McCall is the subject of the book Anthony McCall: The Solid Light Films and Related Works, edited by Christopher Eamon with contributions by Branden W. Joseph and Jonathan Walley.[8]

McCall is represented by Sprüth Magers and Sean Kelly Gallery.


  1. ^ Anthony McCall on Artabase
  2. ^ Anthony McCall on Artabase
  3. ^ Anthony McCall on Artabase
  4. ^ Anthony McCall on Artabase
  5. ^ Garcia, Carnelia. “Moderna Museet Now/Anthony McCall."Modern Painters, October 2009.
  6. ^ 'Vertical cloud' for Birkenhead
  7. ^ Youngs, Ian. "Anthony McCall's Olympic artwork Column scrapped". BBC News Online. BBC. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Anthony McCall: The Solid Light Films and Related Works. Northwestern University Press. 2005. ISBN 0-8101-2318-5. 

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