Alan Shields

September 14 – October 5, 2013
197 10th Avenue

NEW YORK—The Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Alan Shields (1944–2005) on view from September 14 through October 5, 2013. This is the inaugural show for 197 Tenth Avenue, a temporary project space that will be open through January 2014. Located next to Printed Matter in what was formerly an auto parts store, the space will host a series of special exhibitions and focused installations of single works.

The exhibition on view comprises a selection of Shields’ earlier works, highlighting the artist’s use of unconventional materials and vibrant color. Rather than employ the traditional flat picture plane, his three-dimensional paintings incorporate un-stretched canvas, rope, yarn, beads, even wood. The stitched and woven surfaces are stained with mottled dye. Line and texture are machine-sewn or by hand. Shields’ brilliantly colored, whimsical structures convey a playful, deconstructive impulse that predates the strategies of many contemporary painters.

The influence of Shields’ work on living and emerging artists has been underscored by several recent exhibitions, including the 2011 Bridgehampton Biennial, organized by Bob Nickas; The Spirit Level (2012), organized by the artist Ugo Rondinone for Gladstone Gallery; and New Shadow Old Legs (2011), a group show at Eleven Rivington that presented five contemporary artists influenced by Shields’ work. In 2007 the Parrish Art Museum organized a major one-person exhibition, Alan Shields: Stirring Up the Waters. Important surveys have also been organized by Greenberg Van Doren Gallery (2012) and The Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University (1999).

Alan Shields’ work is included in major museum collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, and The Tate Collection, London.

Alan Shields was born in Herington, Kansas. He moved to New York City in 1968, where he showed with the Paula Cooper Gallery for over twenty years. In 1973 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He continued to maintain a studio in New York City but spent most of the year living on Shelter Island, NY, where he finally took up permanent residence. Alan Shields died in 2005.

This exhibition is in cooperation with the Van Doren Waxter Gallery and the Estate of the Artist.

For more information, please contact the gallery: (212) 255-1105 or