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ALAN SHIELDS

Space Sisters work from the 1970s


ALAN SHIELDS Space Sisters

work from the 1970s


Space Sisters will focus on a selection of pieces from the 70s, presenting examples of Shields’ most bombastic work along with his quietest, highlighting a period in Shields’ career when he was receiving international recognition. Emblematic of the freewheeling ethos of the period, Shields’ semiotic style includes spirals, mazes, pyramids, mandalas, anthropomorphic and natural forms. Shields’ command of color and form epitomize the American Post-Minimalist movement, seen in the large-scale, highly adorned multi-media painting, Space Sisters, 1972-74, an ecstatic example of the artist’s exploration of materiality, which employs acrylic, cotton thread, beads and mop heads on linen. By contrast, the less ebullient large-scale painting, Jello Apples, shows the artist’s restraint. Dominated by what appears to be black ground, but what is actually several mottled colors blooming through a dark field, the painting is punctuated with geometric stitching and a horizon of painted and dyed fabric circles sewn on to create curvilinear forms. This subtlety is echoed in the simplistic beauty of the Brown Box Set series (1974-75), which, along with his drawings on paper towels, are Shields at his most pared down—no ornamentation, only watercolor, paint and pencil. Immediate and personal in scale, these smaller works can be seen as ethereal impressions—keys to the artist’s larger works and his career-long exploration of unconventional materials and varied forms. Born in Kansas and raised on his family’s farm, Alan Shields approached a growing interest in Post-Minimalism—a movement co-opted by installation and land artists like Richard Serra and Robert Smithson—with a synthesis of material assemblages that fused the lingering hippiedom of the 60s, folk motifs, and non-Western imagery with the techniques of Color Field painting and the fluid gesture of Abstract Expressionism into a thoroughly unique and singular aesthetic. Governed primarily by his interests, Shields engaged in a diverse practice, leaving behind a body of work that includes sculptures, paintings, prints, works on paper and wearable work, among other experiments with handmade paper, string, cotton pulp, steel and stop-motion animation. Insofar as he adopted a signature style, it might be his complete rejection of stretched canvas in favor of a less precious, more accessible art. Shields’ legacy continues to reverberate amongst significant contemporary artists in conversation with his approach to craft and the unframed object: Jim Lambie’s sculptural assemblages; Polly Apfelbaum’s chromatic “carpets;” Jessica Stockholder’s interactive installations which co-opt the floors and walls—the list of those who sample Shields’ interest in remaining uncircumscribed by standards or popular movement is long, and stands to grow longer.

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Brown Box Set


Brown Box Set #15, 1974 Watercolor, crayon, pencil on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 6


Brown Box Set #11, 1974 Watercolor, crayon, pencil on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 7


Brown Box Set #8, 1974 Watercolor, crayon on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 8


Brown Box Set #7, 1974 Watercolor, crayon, pencil on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 9


Brown Box Set #18, 1974 Watercolor, crayon on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 10


Brown Box Set #9, 1974 Watercolor, crayon on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 11


Brown Box Set #4, 1974 Watercolor, pencil on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 12


Brown Box Set #16, c. 1974 Crayon, pencil on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 13


Brown Box Set #13, 1974 Watercolor, pencil on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 14


Brown Box Set #14, 1974 Watercolor on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 15


Brown Box Set #6, 1975 Watercolor, crayon, pencil on paper 7 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (18.1 x 26 cm) 16


Paintings Space Sisters Jello Apples


Space Sisters [detail] opposite page: Space Sisters, 1972-74 Acrylic, cotton thread, beads and mop heads on linen 103 x 114 inches (261.6 x 289.6 cm) 18


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Jello Apples, 1973 Acrylic, thread on canvas 116 x 229 inches (294.6 x 581.7 cm)


Works on Paper


Rome Out Cast HOL (Shelter Island #2), 1970 Watercolor on paper 18 1/8 x 24 inches (46 x 61 cm) 24


Built Inn, 1973 Watercolor on handmade paper 20 1/2 x 20 1/4 inches (52.1 x 51.4 cm) 25


Old Salt, 1973 Watercolor on paper towel 8 5/8 x 9 1/4 inches (21.9 x 23.5 cm) 26


comrad, 1973 Watercolor on paper towel 8 5/8 x 9 1/4 inches (21.9 x 23.5 cm) 27


Who Sez it's Dirty, 1973 Watercolor on paper towel 9 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches (23.5 x 22.2 cm) 28


Out in a Storm, 1973 Watercolor on paper towel 8 1/2 x 9 3/8 inches (21.6 x 23.8 cm) 29


Land Grant, 1973 Watercolor on paper towel 12 7/8 x 12 7/8 inches (32.7 x 32.7 cm) 30


Alan Shields Born in Herington, Kansas (1944). Attended Kansas State University (1963-66). In college studied civil engineering and studio art. Studied the work of Buckminster Fuller. Participated in Summer Theater Workshops at the University of Maine (1966-67). Moved to New York City (1968). Showed with Paula Cooper Gallery (1968- 1991). Begins three-dimensional, two-sided paintings (1970). Purchased a house on Shelter Island, but kept studio in New York City (1971). Took up permanent residence on Shelter Island (1972). Focused on print and papermaking and made over thirty editions between 1971 – 1974. Received Guggenheim Fellowship and traveled in South America for three months (1973). Went to the Ahmadabad retreat in India (1980). Died in Shelter Island, NY (2005). Museum exhibitions include: Alan Shields: Protracted Simplicity (1966-1985), Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (2016); Alan Shields in Motion, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY (20014/15); Stirring Up the Waters, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY (2007); Alan Shields: A Survey, The Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (1999); 1968 – 1983: The Work of Alan Shields, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN (1983), traveled to Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, FL and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Alan Shields: Paintings and Prints, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA (1981). Included in museum collections such as the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Museum of art, New York, NY, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, Tate Collection, London, UK, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

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SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2016 •Alan Shields Protracted Simplicity (1966-1985), Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO

1999 •Alan Shields: A Survey, The Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

2015 •Alan Shields Traveling Rug Salesman, Galerie Bernhard, Zurich, Switzerland

1998 •Alan Shields: Images in Paper, Center for Contemporary Graphic Art and Tyler Graphic Archive Collection, Fukushima, Japan

2014 •Alan Shields: In Motion, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY •Alan Shields:Maze/ Stephen Petronio Dance Company: Into the Maze, Salina Art Center, Salina, KS

1996 •Art Powerhouse, Cleveland, OH 1995 •Ann Harper Gallery, Amagansett, NY

2013 •SITElab 3: Alan Shields:Maze/ Stephen Petronio Dance Company: Into the Maze, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM •Alan Shields, Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles, CA •Alan Shields, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY

1994 •Roger Smith Gallery, New York, NY 1991 •Works on Canvas and Paper, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY

2012 •Alan Shields: Maze, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, NY

1988 •Alan Shields: Big and In Between, Sawhill Gallery, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

2011 •Alan Shields: Something Goin’ On & On, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, NY

1987 •New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ

2010 •Canvas and Constructions 1973-2003, The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY

1986 •Cleveland Center for Contemporary Arts, Cleveland, OH •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY

2008 •Dieu Donné Papermill, New York, NY

1985 •University Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY

2007 •Alan Shields (1944-2005): Selections from the Jones Road Print Shop, 1971-1978, The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY •Alan Shields: Stirring Up the Waters, The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

1984 •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY •Galerie André Emmerich, Zurich, Switzerland 32


1983 •Gallery Ueda, Tokyo, Japan •New Works on Paper, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY •1968-1983: The Work of Alan Shields, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN; traveled to Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gable, FL; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO 1982 •The Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, AL •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY •Alan Shields: Dimensions of a Cherrystone, Fine Arts Center, State •University of New York, Stony Brook, NY •Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, Purchase, NY

1976 •Musée d’Art et Industrie, Saint-Etienne, France •Portland Center for the Visual Arts, Portland, OR •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY •Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1975 •Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 1974 •Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, IL •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY •Texas Gallery, Houston, TX 1973 •The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL •University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI •Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX •Madison Arts Center, Madison, CT •Galerie Aronwitsch, Stockholm, Sweden

1981 •Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME •Alan Shields: Painting and Prints, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA

1972 •Galleria dell’Ariete, Milan, Italy •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. NY

1980 •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY 1979 •Galerie André Emmerich, Zurich, Switzerland •Williams College Museum of Art, Sterling and Francine •Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA

1971 •The New Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH •Galerie Sonnabend, Paris, France •Janie C. Lee Gallery, Dallas, TX

1978 •Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France •Galerie Munro, Hamburg, Germany •P.S.1, Long Island City, NY •Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo, Brazil •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY

1970 •Janie C. Lee Gallery, Dallas, TX •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY 1969 •Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY

1977 •Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA •Musée d’Art Moderne de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France

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SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OH Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL The Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX Ewing Museum, Illinois State University, Chicago, IL Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, AL Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, NY Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY High Museum, Atlanta, GA Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS Lannan Museum, Lake Worth, FL List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Cambridge, MA Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. National Gallery of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, Purchase, NY 34

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS Staatliche Museum, Berlin, Germany Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY Summit Art Center, Summit, NJ Tate Britain, London, UK Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY


Jello Apples, 1973 [Detail] 35


Published on the occasion of the exhibition Alan Shields Space Sisters work from the 1970s September 14-October 28, 2016 Edited by Dorsey Waxter, Elizabeth Sadeghi, Sophia Jackson Designed by Nick Naber Artwork Photography by Charles Benton Š2016 Alan Shields Estate Cover Image: Alan Shields, Space Sisters, 1972-74, Acrylic, cotton thread, beads and mop heads on linen, 114 x 97 inches (289.6 x 246.4 cm) [detail] page 3: Alan Shields, 1980. Photo: Serood Sarahai Š 2016 Alan Shields / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York We would like to thank Victoria Shields Weslek, and Jason Shields for their unwavering support in the production of this exhibition.

23 East 73rd Street New York, NY 10021 Phone: 212 445 0444 Fax: 212 445 0442 info@vandorenwaxter.com www.vandorenwaxter.com Gallery Hours Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm


Van Doren Waxter

23 East 73rd Street New York, NY 10021 212 445 0444 | info@vandorenwaxter.com | vandorenwaxter.com

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Alan Shields | Space Sisters work from the 1970s  

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Alan Shields Space Sisters work from the 1970s September 14-October 28, 2016

Alan Shields | Space Sisters work from the 1970s  

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Alan Shields Space Sisters work from the 1970s September 14-October 28, 2016

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