Portable Thai-inspired Art Display   Bookmobile

Collapsible suitcase-based works,
Pictured above, Portable Thai-Inspired Art Display Unit, 2007-11. A structure for showing 4 paintings, designed to be hand-carried to Thailand. The entire unit could be broken down and fit into the suitcase.

  Variable Book Constructions, 1982-95, Three site-specific installations involving books. Pictured above, Variable Book Construction (Bookmobile), 1991-95, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
Variable room installation view1   Variable construction

Variable Construction Altered by the Chance Rearrangement of My Living Room Furniture, 1971
"Four Sculptors," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

  Variable Cloth Constructions, 1965-72
Cloth and mixed media. Pictured above, Third Variable Construction, 1967
Drawing to a Close    

Drawings, one person exhibit at Hansen-Fuller Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 1970. Pictured above, Drawing (To a Close).



May's Variable Constructions come in two forms: collapsible suitcase-based works and installations whose structure changes based on manipulation of ropes. The suitcase-based works date from 1965 with First Collapsible Construction and reappear in 2006 and 2007, with Small Case (Authorized Replica) and Thai Inspired Portable Display Unit, a work specifically designed for being hand-carried to and exhibited in Bangkok. The installation-based work dates from 1967 with First Hanging Variable Construction and culminates with Bookmobile in 1991, a work commissioned by the San Jose Museum of Art for the foyer of their new building.
–Renny Pritikin (from the catalog essay, "Why Aren't You Famous Yet?" accompanying the exhibition "Tony May—Old Technology", 2010-11)

The Variable Constructions highlight many of the interests that May has studied over the last forty years: architectural improvisation; changing sculptural form and interaction; explorations of personal history and abstraction; play in both its meanings as fun and as theater; and modesty of materials.
–Susan O'Malley, I.C.A.