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Alan Shields

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The three pendants included in Object & Thing present an opportunity to experience a little-known side of Alan Shields’ work. Long considered an “artist’s artist,” Shields has recently been reappraised by a broader public, who have fallen hard for his nonchalant manner, which may initially seem wayward and intuitive, but is in fact deeply considered. He has a touch with materials like no other artist of his “post-Minimalist” generation. All these qualities are abundantly present in his necklace pendants, which somehow manage to evoke both the surreal boxes of Joseph Cornell and arcade pinball games. Nor was this just a brief diversion for Shields: he had a space permanently dedicated to beadwork in his studio and wore necklaces himself his whole life. According to gallerist Dorsey Waxter, “He took pleasure in the idea that there was a dual presentation of his necklaces, either worn or showcased in a box as indicated on the verso of the boxes. He took pride in this kind of simple invention.”

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Tearsheet

Artist
Alan Shields
Material
Wood beads painted with enamel paint, Dacron fishing line, with artist's painted wood box
Contributing Gallery
Van Doren Waxter
Period
1993
Dimensions
15 in × 15 in × 5.5 in
38.1 cm × 38.1 cm × 13.97 cm
ID
vanas02-01
Image credit: Photography by Charles Benton
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