Glenn McKay
Light Projections 1960s-1970s, 1965-1970

McKay’s work is emblematic of a radical, freedom-seeking philosophy of social change and sensual pleasure that is commonly associated with the 1960s. His pulsating, large-screen installations once functioned as backdrops to amplified, psychedelic music performances (most notably Jefferson Airplane’s stage and television appearances).

A painter by training and an innovator in spirit, McKay uses a combination of fugitive and ephemeral materials — transparent inks and dyes, soluble and water-resistant liquids, and oils and pigments applied to translucent surfaces such as 35-millimeter film, transparency slides, film stock, gelatins, and acetates — to create luminous images for projection.

Expanding the capabilities of audiovisual equipment such as the overhead projector and the automatic slide projector, McKay’s installations succeed in drawing an ecstatic form of art from the most commonplace machines.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Light Projections 1960s-1970s
Artist name
Glenn McKay
Date created
video installation
single-channel video, color, with sound, 18 min.
144 in. × 192 in. (365.76 cm × 487.68 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund purchase
© Glenn McKay
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Other Works by Glenn McKay

Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to confirm it will be on view.

Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at copyright@sfmoma.org.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.