Allan McCollum

Title: Visible Markers

Medium: Polymerized pigmented concrete

Size: 2 x 8 x 2 1/2 in.

Edition: Unlimited edition, signed and dated on bottom

Release: November 1997



ALLAN McCOLLUM’s Visible Markers take the shape of thousands of multi-colored concrete blocks measuring 2 in. high by 8 in. long by 2 1/2 in. wide fabricated by Nathan Lieb, NYC. Each block is cast in one of six colors; brick red, chocolate brown, coal black, stone grey, lemon yellow, lime green, and each bears a deep imprint of the word “Thanks.” The unlimited edition, the artist’s first multiple, is being published by I.C. Editions, NYC. The project will be sold as a boxed set of six blocks in each of the six colors.


Visible Markers lend physical form to a common verbal gesture. The act of giving “thanks” encourages our consideration of the behavior itself with attendant sentiments and motivations. The material quality of the concrete and the shape of the marker suggests diverse readings. The concrete evokes both monument and mausoleum while the shape is at once ingot and brick. The subtle shift in our understanding of Visible Markers parallels the subtle shift in usage and understanding of the word “Thanks," heartfelt sentiment or acknowledgement of obligation.


With this project, perhaps more than with any other, the artist explores his notion of the art object as something that obtains its significance through the process of its exchange. rather than merely through its making and its presentation. He hopes that people will appreciate this project as both an object and an action.


To encourage the exchange of “thanks,” the artist and I.C. Editions will give away one hundred single Visible Markers to friends and colleagues during the course of the exhibition of the project at Susan Inglett Gallery.


Download PDF