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Alyson Shotz


February 11 - March 19, 2011

Opening Reception: Friday, February 11, 6-8 pm


Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to announce Wavelength, an exhibition of new work by Alyson Shotz.  The artist will expand upon her ongoing investigation of spatial perception, cognition, and temporality, presenting works which are informed and modified by viewer interaction.  At the same time, this exhibition introduces a new concern with the experience of color, an aspect unexplored in her recent shows.


The centerpiece of the exhibition will be Standing Wave, a twenty-five foot installation consisting of over a thousand thin, dichroic acrylic strips which have been fastened in stepped increments to the gallery wall.  Attached in this manner, the wall becomes an undulating wave, reflecting and transmitting rays of color.  The dichroic acrylic material is integral to this experience: although it exists as a clear film, the ambient conditions in the gallery transform it into a shifting spectrum of color.  This variability or impenetrability is a crucial aspect of Shotz’s work, and one that unites it with the tradition of sublime beauty. She explains, ”For me, an ideal work of art is one that is ultimately unknowable…A work of mine that incorporates so many variables beyond my control will always be surprising, even to me.” 


The freestanding sculpture, Transitional Object (figure), also incorporates dichroic acrylic but to much different effect.  The surface of this irregularly shaped form is so reflective, that it seems to dematerialize.  The form originated as a literal model of a drawing of a conceptual object, so in effect, it is a three-dimensional version of a drawing.  It transitions between drawing and sculpture, much like Shotz’s wall drawings, made with pins and yarn.


Sine is one such drawing.  Monumental in scale, it travels across and around the gallery walls. Sine explores the materials of drawing and the physical gesture involved in making it.  It is also a direct response to the topic of integrating drawing into the digital age. Line is created both through the actual yarn and pins, as well as through the shadows of yarn and pins.  As such, the work becomes an illusionary three or four dimensional form, an imaginary shape which hovers somewhere between drawing and sculpture.


Suspended from the ceiling, the figurative Spiral (for LB) is part of Shotz’s continuing examination of repeating form in rotation and variation.  It has a mathematical structure which is based on the notion of rotation around a central point, a phenomenon that occurs throughout nature. Like Standing Wave, the appearance of this work is largely informed by external factors that change throughout the day; the mirror-polished stainless steel surface is like a stepped and fractured mirror.  As the sculpture revolves, refracted images of viewers in the gallery, glimpses of the other works in the exhibition, and the glint of lights materialize on the mirrored face of the spiral.


This will be Alyson Shotz’s fifth show at the gallery.  Her work was recently featured in solo exhibitions at The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH, and The Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, as well as the group exhibition The More Things Change at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She will have upcoming solo exhibitions at The Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., and Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo, Japan.  Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Whitney Museum of American Art among others.


Derek Eller Gallery is located at 615 West 27th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 11am - 6pm. For further information or visuals, please contact the gallery at 212.206.6411 or visit