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Press Release


Opening reception: Friday, November 3, 6-8 pm

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of new work by Allan McCollum.

Working over the past few years, McCollum has designed a new system to produce unique two-dimensional "shapes." This system allows him to make enough unique shapes for every person on the planet to have one of their own. It also allows him to keep track of the shapes, so as to insure that no two will ever be alike.

For the time being, around 214,000,000 of the shapes have been set aside for creative experimentation. These can be used for many different purposes — not only for fine art and design projects, but also for various social practices: as gifts, awards, identity markers, emblems, insignias, logos, toys, souvenirs, educational tools, and so forth. The shapes can be printed graphically as silhouettes or outlines, in any size, color or texture, using all varieties of graphics software to build, carve, or cut the shapes from wood, plastic, metal, stone, and other materials.

The basic system for making the shapes is now complete, but the project of actually constructing all of them is much too large for McCollum to finish by himself, or in his own lifetime. For this reason he is organizing it in such a way that others may continue completing them in his absence. He is also making shapes available to others, with the hope that people will come up with many interesting ways to use them.

Allan McCollum was born in California in 1944, and lives and works in New York. He has spent over thirty years exploring how objects achieve public and personal meaning in a world constituted in mass production, focusing most recently on collaborations with small community historical society museums in different parts of the world.

McCollum has had over 100 solo exhibitions, including retrospectives at the Musée d'Art Moderne, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Lille, France (1998); the Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (1995-96); the Serpentine Gallery, London (1990); the Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmo, Sweden (1990); IVAM Centre del Carme, Valencia, Spain (1990); Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1989), and Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (1988). He has produced public art projects in the United States and Europe, and his works are held in nearly seventy major art museum collections worldwide.

To introduce his project in New York, McCollum will be exhibiting over 5000 unique monoprints along with a series of wooden sculptures produced in collaboration with Graphicstudio and The Institute for Research in Art.

The exhibition will open on November 3, with an opening reception from 6-8 p.m., and will be on view through December 23, 2006. Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 537 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011. For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467.