The Art of Possibility: Allan McCollum's Perfect Couples

September 11, 2014 8:01 PM

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The Art of Possibility: Allan McCollum's Perfect Couples

To artist Allan McCollum, more is more. His latest exhibition, The Shapes Project: Perfect Couples, opened last week at Petzel Gallery in New York, bringing his affinity for quantity to the gallery with dozens of new colorful works. Fusing his interest in population growth with art making, McCollum devised The Shapes Project in 2005, which is a system for producing unique shapes. Utilizing this plan, the artist is able to create a two-dimensional representation for each person on the planet, without ever repeating the same shape twice. As with many of his past projects, which borrow from the language of modern production, he tricks our eye with absurdly similar, but unique hand-made objects. In a twist on the theme, Perfect Couples eschews individual portraits, pairing his shapes into "couples" that very simply represent the idea of human relationships.

The Shapes Project is an exploration of art, identity, mathematics and actual population data, devised in a system that has been organized to produce over 31,000,000,000 different shapes. The shapes represent not only individuals in the current population, but also the projected population. It is de...

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