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Last chance: Anthony McCall | Vertical Works by Sprüth Magers at Ambika P3

March 25, 2011 by Georgia

This weekend offers a last chance to see four extraordinary light installations by Anthony McCall, on view at a 14,000 square foot subterranean exhibition space in central London, called Ambika P3. Known for his groundbreaking work which occupies a space between sculpture, cinema and drawing, McCall began working with light when he moved from Britain to New York in the early 1970's. Challenging the concept of cinema projections, the aim of McCall's light installations is partially to deconstruct cinema and bring it back to its most basic form (the projection of light), and partially to expand the idea of cinema by creating a three-dimensional, sculptural space.

Anthony McCall Installation of vertical works at Ambika P3, London, 2011 Courtesy the Artist and Sprüth Magers Berlin London Photo: Stephen White[

The four works on show at Ambika P3 were all made over the last six years. You and I (2005-11), Breath III (2005), Skirt (1) (2010) and Meeting You Halfway (2009) are here installed a few feet apart in a straight line. The source of light is attached to the ceiling, shining light through differently shaped gaps onto the floor. In between floor and ceiling, four 10-metre tall, conical tents of light are formed, each with a base of about 4 metres. The projected line drawings on the floor, which constantly change shape as the lights move are quite literally, the footprints of the work.

Anthony McCall Installation of vertical works at Ambika P3, London, 2011 Courtesy the Artist and Sprüth Magers Berlin London Photo: Stephen White

Visitors seem most intrigued by the walls of light that are created on the outsides of the conical tents. As steam is gently blown into the room, the walls of light become more visible, with cloud-like patterns of steam moving slowly up and down the walls. Standing in the middle of one of the works looking upwards enables you to look inside a kaleidoscopic tunnel, slowly but constantly changing its shape and form. Observing these works, one can understand why McCall was awarded with the commission to produce a work for the upcoming Cultural Olympiad. In 2012 a spinning column of cloud will rise from Wiral Waters in Merseyside - across the water from Liverpool's landmark liver Building - and be visible across the North West region throughout the Olympic year. If this current exhibition is anything to go by, it will be epic.

Sprüth and Magers at Ambika P3
35-100 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5LS
Opening hours (last days)
Saturday and Sunday 12pm - 6pm