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Chameleons & Shape Shifters - Michael Shaw - Schwartz Gallery

Date: 26 Aug 2010
Time: 15:56:46 -0500


Private View: Wednesday 15th September, 6 – 10 p.m Exhibition Dates: 15th September – 10th October 2010 Opening times: Friday – Sunday 12 - 6 p.m First Thursdays late opening: 7th October 6 - 9 p.m Artist-in-conversation: 2pm, Saturday 25th September Free Public Workshops: Sat 18th & Sun 19th September 10 a.m - 12 Things are not what they seem at the Schwartz Gallery for Michael Shaw’s solo show; luminous forms change colour and a sinuous inflatable breathes the gallery’s architecture. These ambiguous inter-linkings between objects and the architecture of the gallery operate in two distinct ways; they create a formal tension and cycle of metamorphosis within works that are rooted in minimalism and also a sense of psychological tipping-points that oscillate between the ideal and uncompromisingly geometrical and the deflated. This infuses the works with an ‘otherness’ that locates them in the contemporary. Shaw’s sculptures all exploit temporal changes in geometry or colour to create the illusion that each sculpture is something beyond its apparent material confines. Shaw’s investigation into singular forms and geometry is augmented by the inflatable nature of the main ‘breathing’ sculpture which twists around the cast iron columns in the gallery, dominating the architectural space. The sinuous pneumatic nature of this piece, together with its fluorescent pink hue and the reflected light works on its surface, give it a creature-like and intestinal presence that disrupts any perceived ‘traditionalist’ aesthetic and infuses the gallery space with a subversive influence. The viewer is confronted with two vastly different, yet co-dependent propositions that push and pull their perceptual and cognitive reading; inverting viewer-object relationships and questioning the role of the gallery space in the process. Complementing the inflatable are several light-works that cyclically change the intensity and tone of their colour, affecting the shadows and reflected colours they cast on the surrounding architecture and works. Their chameleonic light-changing quality is juxtaposed with the giant inflatable curving its way down the central axis of the gallery; once again a surreal sea-sawing sense of meaning is achieved. The light-works emit a formal eloquence and elegant awareness of materials. They also act out their chameleonic presence as a dynamic accompaniment to the deflated carcass of the pink shell or skin covering the gallery floor. Notions and traces of the body are constructed and re-constructed along with the architecture of the gallery space. About the artist: Michael Shaw completed a PhD in sculpture at the University of Gloucestershire in 2005. His solo show Virtually Sculpture toured the Study Gallery, Poole & South Hill Arts Centre, Bracknell in 2008-09. Venues of recent group shows include: Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Florida State University and the V&A, London. http://www.michaelshaw.org/ Supported by: ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND - LOTTERY FUNDED http://www.schwartzgallery.co.uk/