SHOTZ! Shotz! Shotz, shotz, shotz, SHOTZ!

Sorry, that was the first thing that came to mind when I read multimedia artist Alyson Shotz’s name at the Phillips Collection. But seeing her mathematically precise yarn drawings, “Ecliptic,”  in vibrant colors kind of does create an urge to party…

I first saw “Ecliptic” at last week’s monthly Phillips After 5 (PA5) celebration. It wasn’t a particularly memorable PA5 mostly because Maura and I arrived a bit tardy so the crowd had gobbled up all the Japanese-inspired food. There weren’t any special performances unlike PA5 months ago that featured the Washington Ballet. (Read my post here.) As we were heading out of the Phillips, we saw these large works decorating a corner. You had better appreciate my close-up because the gallery assistant reprimanded me for getting too close to the artwork! Shotz’s large-scale ”drawings” mesmerize the viewer. Choosing to use many hundreds of nails hammered into the wall and yards of yarn, Shotz ignores the usual drawing utensils such as pencil and paper. She engages the space of a room and makes you aware of your spatial relationship.

Shotz is an American artist based in Brooklyn. She is a Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) graduate, and her installations have been on view in the Guggenheim museum. Her work reflects her interest in science and planetary systems. When you are studying her finished pieces at the Phillips, you will be surprised at how intricate they are! I was taken aback when I realized that a seemingly gray drawing was actually made up of white yarn. The shapes and shadows play tricks on your eyes, and Shotz is known for manipulation of perception. I really wanted to touch her work (of course, that’s definitely not allowed in any museum or gallery), but I think my photo captures the texture of Ecliptic.

The installation at the Phillips is part of a larger curatorial program, Intersections Art Projects, which features and promotes contemporary artists.



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