San Francisco

Alice Shaw

Gallery 16

Whether by accident or some grand universal design, the invention of photography and the inception of psychology took place more or less simultaneously. According to Alice Shaw, the two have always had much in common as ways to see through new eyes. With an appealing honesty Shaw describes one of the driving forces behind her work as a kind of psychological state—a confusion that leads her to try to make sense of the world and its illusions through pictures, often of herself.

In this exhibition three separate bodies of work all addressed issues of identity and selfhood. Shaw has clearly put a lot of thought into what’s in a name; four large digital pigment prints show her portraying famous Alices—Alice in Wonderland, Alice B. Toklas, Alice Nelson (the housekeeper on The Brady Bunch), and Alice Cooper. The velvety surface and deep, nonreflective blacks of these prints emphasize their goofy

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2004 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.