new-york

Alan Shields, Dance Bag, 1985, acrylic, canvas, glass beads, thread, aluminum tubing, mirror, 40 x 48 x 48".

Alan Shields

Van Doren Waxter | 23 East 73rd Street

Alan Shields, Dance Bag, 1985, acrylic, canvas, glass beads, thread, aluminum tubing, mirror, 40 x 48 x 48".

Luckily for him, and happily for me, Alan Shields doesn’t fit into any neat category. He’s been linked with the so-called post-Minimalists, even as he traces his own heritage back to Kandinsky and Klee. Like both those artists’ oeuvres—the touchstones of his aesthetic—Shields’s work is sensuously dazzling, intricately constructed, and mystically vital. But it is also distinguished by considerable material diversity. Shields utilizes, among other media, thread, cotton, and beads.

Consequently, pieces such as Dance Bag, 1985 (one of fifteen works in this show), may be read as both painting and sculpture; made of richly colored strips of canvas, it is a three-dimensional construction composed of painterly gestures. Bedecked with beads and hanging from a single thread, the strips radiate outward and downward to suspend a circular tube some six inches from the floor. At once

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