An American sculptor who is known for his ability to create compelling work out of what he terms basic forms, John Harvey McCracken is associated with the contemporary art scene in California, Santa Fe, New Mexico and with innovating the American art scene at large.
His most famous works are created out of dark, lacquered shapes polished to a high shine. They constitute basic geometric forms, of which color is considered by the artist to be the vital component of their construction. This innovative use of color as an aspect of form is widely considered to be McCracken's principal innovation and the defining element of his work.
John Harvey McCracken attended the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and has taught throughout the country at colleges in the University of California System was well as at The University of Nevada, Hunter College, New York and the School of Visual Arts in New York.
His art is a part of the permanent collections in a great many noteworthy museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which currently holds two of his pieces.
McCracken currently lives and works in Santa Fe and is an active member of that city's famously vibrant art community.