St. Paul's Cray, United Kingdom, 1946.
Between 1964 and 1968, he studied art and graphic design in Ravensbourne College in Bromley, Kent. His first projections or light sculptures show his minimalist spirit, as he used a reduced number of objects. He participated in the avant-garde film association London Film-makers' Co-operative, under the influence of which he began to show interest in the relationship between drawing and sculpture and the cinema.
From the seventies, his work was based on the use of light as a means of expression and on the use of drawn lines - black on white. In this way, he brings volume and tangible dimensions to his projections, as well as sculptural shapes that seem to take on movement in the real space. His projections, performed with 16 mm films, highlight the sculptural qualities of a beam of light. In dark spaces, full of mist, the projections create an illusion of three-dimensional shapes, ellipses, waves, cones and straight surfaces that gradually grow in the space.
In 1973 he moved to New York. There, he began to create solid-light installations, designing Line Describing a Cone, where for the first time he used light installations that create volumetric shapes that slowly evolve in a three-dimensional space. Here he coincides with some film-makers in the exploration of the formal processes of the cinema.
After several years away from the art world, in 2003 with the relaunch of technology applied to art, developments in the computer-assisted animation of images and digital projections, he again started to design light projections on a large scale.
In the year 2009, the Cultural Olympiad in London commissioned a projection from him, consisting of a column of steam in Birkenhead that would be visible from a 100 kilometres away. The project was funded by Liverpool's Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT).
He creates projections in a horizontal format that remind us of the images we perceive in a cinema theatre. In recent years he has experimented with vertical projections, placing the projector on the ground which causes the cone of light to acquire the shape of a sculpture in the retina of the spectator. The spectator can even circle and move around the volumetric shapes and submerge themselves in them, achieving a disturbing visual experience.
His professional career has been recognised in exhibitions such as: Into the Light: the Projected Image in American Art (1964-1977) at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2001-2002), The Expanded Screen: Actions and Installations of the Sixties and Seventies at Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna (2003-2004), The Expanded Eye at Kunsthaus Zurich (2006), Beyond Cinema: the Art of Projection at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2006-2007), The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality and the Projected Image at Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC (2008), The Geometry of Motion 1920s/1970s, Museum of Modern Art, New York, (2008) and On Line, MoMA, (2010-2011).
McCall is represented in many collections such as the Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, the Modern Art Museum in Stockholm and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.
Christopher Eamon edited, in collaboration with Branden W. Joseph and Jonathan Walley, a book about the artist titled Anthony McCall: The Solid Light Films and Related Works.
In 2009, in Hangar Bicocca in Milan, he exhibited: Anthony McCall: Breath (The Vertical Works).
Lives and works in Manhattan, New York.
Works in the collection: