new-york

Alan Shields

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

Although barely farther uptown or more accessible to the general public than most New York artists’ studios the Paula Cooper Gallery (a second floor loft in the downtown factory district), housed one of the most exciting and surprising one-man shows of the season. Kansas-born Alan Shields has shown only one or two of his earlier machine-stitched unpainted canvas “hangings” previously; in a group exhibition which opened the same gallery, and in a “Soft Art” show currently at the Trenton State Museum (which does no justice to his concerns). It is difficult to call these first attempts paintings in the literal sense, or even objects, since they verge on both and yet are neither. Like Richard Tuttle, with his eccentric dyed and crinkled polygons, Shields conjures a distinctly personal, idiomatic expression with the most candidly traditional materials—canvas, thread, hardware hanger eyelets,

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