Carl F. Cheng

Collaborated Project:

Emerald City

Carl F. Cheng was Born in San Francisco in 1942. He now lives and works in Santa Monica.

Cheng graduated with a BA in Art and Design from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1963, after which he studied at the Folkwang School of Art in Essen for a year. In 1965, he returned to UCLA for his MFA in Sculpture. Cheng is known for his ‘nature machines’, which are, as he said, designed to ‘model nature, its processes and effects for a future environment that may be completely made by humans’. These nature machines, produced under the auspices of Cheng’s corporation John Doe Co., push the boundaries of post-minimalism, and break open the assumptions of systems art. Cheng was featured in Photography into Sculpture, Peter Bunnell’s landmark 1970 exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. More recently, his work was showcased at institutional exhibitions such as Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974–1981 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013).