Alyson Shotz at Mass MoCA

Back in February, we had a little d’Arteboard field trip to Mass MoCA. In typical Steph fashion, it’s now April, and I’m just getting around to sorting through photos from the outing. I was psyched to catch “Material World: Sculpture to Environment” before it came down later that month. The group show featured site specific installations constructed from everyday materials that transformed the museum galleries into otherworldly environments. One of the artists included in the show was Alyson Shotz. Her installation “The Geometry of Light,” composed of Plastic Fresnel lens sheets, silvered glass beads and stainless steel wire was like a little jewel tucked away in a smallish room to the side of heaven and hell–two louder installations I will post about in the future.

“The Geometry of Light” was a beautiful, sparkly display of light and shadow. Shotz strung beads and plastic discs in regular patterns along steel wires which were suspended diagonally across the room beginning in the far right corner and fanning up and out to the left wall. A perfect example of the whole as “more than the sum of it’s parts”, the effect was much more impressive than the list of modest materials might suggest. The room had a magical underwater sort of quality to it. Light passed through, reflected off of and was partially occluded by the strands of discs and beads causing the work to cast layers of painterly shadows and reflections on the floor and wall. Among other things, the installation brought to my mind 1960s textile patterns, the dappled sunlight of a Renoir painting and alien-looking seaweed. For more photos, follow the jump.

A video might have given a better idea of the overall effect and how it felt to move through the space around and under the work. Hmmmn. Well, I’ll file that idea away (and likely forget about it next time I’m out viewing ambient installation art).
-Steph

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