Cameron Shaw

Barbara Krakow Gallery

In Cameron Shaw’s most recent show, his assisted readymades, inspired by Duchamp and Magritte, seemed to levitate. The artist’s carefully selected commonplace objects defied gravity with the help of well-placed magnets, in work that toyed with the psychology of perception while revealing the tricks of the artist as self-styled magician. Among the nine such works were a fakir’s rope ascending to the sky, a black derby floating in a vitrine, cigars and pipes suspended from strings, and a quill pen that appeared to write a letter (in which a son describes his father’s death to his brother) by drawing ink from an antique glass bottle. The latter, Shaw’s most impressive piece, Mould P, 1997, infused the fabricated boxes and yellowed missives of earlier works with a kind of magic realism.

The meaning of these surrealist objects may ultimately be elusive, but these works are fraught with highly

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