Alan Shields, Something Goin’ On & On
A fascinating solo exhibition of the work by Alan Shields (1944-2005) was presented by Greenburg Van Doren Gallery, NYC, which inaugurated their representation of the artist’s estate. Exploring multiple materials, Shields painted, dyed, wove, sewed and sculpted his works into interactive forms on canvas or paper. The show combines large hanging pieces, sculptured forms, and flat works using a strong palette of circles, spirals, pyramids, biomorphic and natural forms.
Shield’s watercolors were on thick handmade paper, and then enhanced by sewn lines, as a method of introducing linear elements along with the areas of watercolor. Sometimes there is an embossed effect as strips of handmade paper are overlaid on the paper with additions of beads and linear sewing.
Shields work was produced in the wake of Minimalism in the ‘60s in New York as he adapted his materials and techniques in painting,installation work and printmaking.
His longtime friend, the curator Jill Brienza showed a selection of work from the ‘70s and ‘80s that distills and reflects the entirety of Shields work which spanned four decades.
The exhibition was on view from April 28th to June 24th, 2011. A fully illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by Bob Nickas was published on the occasion of the exhibition. Alan Shields was born in Herington, Kansas in 1944 and died in Shelter Island, New York in 2005. He was educated at Kansas State University and participated in Summer Theatre Workshops at the University of Maine. He was the recipient of a 1973 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Solo museum exhibitions include Alan Shields: Stirring up the Waters, The Parrish Museum of Art, Southampton, NY (2007), Alan Shields: A Survey, The Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (1999), and 1968-1983: The Work of Alan Shields, The Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, Memphis, TN (1983). His works are included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Tate Collection, London, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art among many others.
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