Exhibition

Alyson Shotz. Alloys of Moonlight.

9 Feb 2023 – 18 Mar 2023

Regular hours

Thursday
11:00 – 18:00
Friday
11:00 – 18:00
Saturday
11:00 – 18:00
Tuesday
11:00 – 18:00
Wednesday
11:00 – 18:00

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Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present Alloys of Moonlight, an exhibition of recent sculpture by Alyson Shotz.

About

Featuring a monumental polychromatic steel sculpture and luminescent three-dimensional aluminum wall works, Alloys of Moonlight delves further into questions that Shotz has been exploring throughout her nearly 30-year career: how do we grasp the mysterious forces that shape the universe, and how do we reconcile observable reality with the noumenal reality of environmental phenomena? This new body of work explores the dialectic between these axes, as Shotz refines a sculptural language to visualize the unseen and the sublime forces that frame the natural world. The works in Alloys of Moonlight act as instruments by which to measure and reflect the ineffable forces of nature.

In the center of the gallery is Aphelion, a looped steel sculpture that turns and twists in ways that seem to defy nature, leading the eye in an endless serpentine path around its undulating curves. The sculpture transforms as the viewer moves around the piece, its colors shifting from gold to green to blue. Changes in light and time of day are registered by the changing colors of Aphelion’s surface, a phantom quality mirrored in the spatial nature of the work. Made of the least amount of material to hold its shape, Aphelion constitutes a delicate synthesis between positive and negative space. It is as much composed of a mesh-like steel as the air that flows through it. The form, which is born of the artist’s longstanding interest in knots and non-orientable surfaces like the Mobius Strip, is similarly fugitive and beguiling. Comparable entangled structures serve a fundamental role in the quantum-mechanical foundations of nature itself, and knot-like forms likewise have appeared as cultural signifiers throughout art history in Roman, Byzantine, Chinese, African and Islamic art.

The walls of the gallery feature a series of crumpled aluminum sheets, painted in a hazy spectrum of light-reflective mineral colors. Rather than the two-dimensional geometry of a flat plane, these pieces are spatial objects that delineate the magnitude of a prior impact. Named Alloys of Moonlight after the title of the show, each piece has a particular form, a shape that quantifies the exact nature of an individual collision. Conversely, the folding also embeds the aluminum sheets with a degree of potential energy and the suggestion of an incomplete natural process: the unfurling of a leaf or the folding of a wing. As representations or diagrams, these works define form through a negative logic—rather than creating sculptural volume through physical material, thin walls of aluminum outline the shape of an interior void. Alloys of Moonlight subverts the expectation of concrete immutability, instead using space as a sculptural medium. This language of spatial ambiguity is paralleled by the striking luminescent surfaces of the works, which are similarly variable. Like the orbits of moons around planets, each piece is in constant flux, registering changes in sunlight as well as the shifting position of the viewer. The sculptures in this exhibition exemplify the interplay between what is visible, concrete, measurable, and a more ethereal subtext that structures the natural world. Alloys of Moonlight renews and deepens Shotz’s exploration of the delicate and sublime space between these realities.

                                                                                                                                                                                -Elana Kates, 2023

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Alyson Shotz

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