San Francisco

Daniel Shapiro

Rose Rabow Gallery

Hot on the heels of the Museum of Modern Art “assemblage” exhibition, recently shown at the San Francisco Museum of Art, Shapiro, better known as an intelligent and sensitive printmaker, exhibits a number of “assemblages” (his titling).

They consist in the main of those items of women’s underclothing which are heavily advertised with the appropriate chi-chi drawings in mass circulation media: brassieres, girdles, etc., juxtaposed against crushed tins, cut out circular lids of tins, string, shoe soles, etc. But unlike Bruce Connor, who uses sexual and erotic iconography for its capacity of direct attack on our sensibilities, Shapiro transforms the origins of his objects until any possible erotic connotations are lost. What finally emerges is a crusted or ossified surface, with the separate identities of the parts “blacked out.” But at this point Shapiro wavers and introduces in many of his images painterly ideas of breaking up space, thus shattering the overall wrinkled skin and tangible surface that had begun to form.

John Coplans