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Alyson Shotz

Time Lapse

October 10 - November 8, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, October 10, 6-8pm


Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present Time Lapse, an exhibition of new work by Alyson Shotz.  An installation in two parts, this show will be on view both at the Gallery’s main space at 615 West 27th Street and at a second location at 625 West 27th Street. Through a range of materials and processes, Shotz seeks to make perceptible two imperceptible forces: time and gravity. Time Lapse continues and expands Shotz’s investigation into visualizing the invisible.


Time Lapse Series #1 and Time Lapse Series #2 are intricate drawings created from metal pins and white thread. Through a digital and handmade process, Shotz presents various views of three-dimensional computer-generated animated objects in motion through time. Evoking Edward Muybridge’s early stop-motion imagery, these works utilize technology to freeze individual moments and reveal what is often unseen by the human eye. Like Muybridge, Shotz connects the technological advances of our era to slow down time and capture the elusiveness of natural phenomenon. 


These stop-motion thread drawings begin as a virtual planar surface or tube that Shotz assigns surface material properties like mass, resistance, and friction. She then places the digital object in a virtual environment with assigned properties such as gravity, air density and wind speed. The last step is capturing stills from the animation—the templates for the thread drawings. By taking a digital image and weaving it out of thread, Shotz utilizes technology but also returns to a handmade, slow tactile process that brings the drawings into real space. Within this involved process, there is a constant play between two and three dimensionality. The virtual template, although flat, is captured from a three-dimensional digital object. Once it becomes the thread drawing, it is lifted off the wall, which allows the shadows made by the threads and pins to create a sense of mass through the use of negative space. 


Also on view is Laws of Motion (#1, 2, 3, 4), a series of bronze sculptures in which the temporal is visualized through the progressive crushing of each work. Laws of Motion (#1, 2, 3, 4) are cast from Shotz’s recent series of ceramics made from slabs of rolled porcelain clay dropped from different heights with varying degrees of force. This process relies on chance, allowing each unique work to be shaped by gravity and motion. Once cast in bronze, the shapes become time solidified: mere moments transform into fixed objects. 


Hanging in the Gallery’s second location, Invariant Interval #4 is a horizontal suspended sculpture made from steel wire and glass beads which is part of a series of similar vertical sculptures shaped by gravity and material. The concept for these works stems from the mathematical model of spacetime—the combining of three dimensions with time, the fourth dimension—in which the invariant interval is both a spatial and temporal measurement. These works reveal the physical process of expansion through time. The wires create lines that describe space, and as a result build a volumetric object devoid of mass. The points of intersection where wires are joined by aluminum collars, the material properties of the steel, and glass beads work in concert with gravity to create the form.


On the occasion of the exhibition, the Gallery is publishing an 80-page hardcover catalogue of recent work by Alyson Shotz, designed by Tod Lippy (of Esopus) with contributions from Diana Al-Hadid, Lisa D. Freiman, Alison Gass, Jennifer Gross, Josiah McElheny, Jed Morse, David Norr, and Carrie Mae Weems.


Alyson Shotz will have concurrent solo exhibitions at the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College and at Carolina Nitsch Project Room, New York (also open from 6-8 pm on October 10). Recent solo exhibitions include Visual Art Center, University of Texas at Austin, Edythe and Eli Broad Museum, East Lansing, MI, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN; Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo, Japan; and the Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, Sweden. She has an upcoming solo exhibition at Millesgarden Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.  Her work is included in the permanent collections of The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York among others.


Derek Eller Gallery is located at 615 West 27th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 11am - 6pm.  Alyson Shotz Time Lapse will also be on view at 625 West 27th Street.  For further information or visuals, please contact the gallery at 212.206.6411 or visit