Magazine article Artforum International

Nancy Shaver: Derek Eller Gallery

Magazine article Artforum International

Nancy Shaver: Derek Eller Gallery

Article excerpt

Nancy Shaver

DEREK ELLER GALLERY

Though not billed as a group exhibition, "Dress the Form" contained multitudes, featuring contributions from nearly thirty individual artists alongside numerous collaborative and found efforts. In an exuberantly busy installation inspired in part by the catholic formalism of Henry, her antique shop in Hudson, New York, coordinating artist Nancy Shaver endeavored to further collapse the differences between professional and amateur, conceptual and formal, and--especially--functional and decorative. Shaver intended that the show's objects be considered for their immediately apparent qualities rather than for any attending obscure backstories, and the result was a refreshingly unburdened collection around which ideas of work, value, and the visual swirled and eddied like flakes in a snow globe. A more-is-more strategy always risks exhausting the viewer, but here the exercise of curatorial intelligence kept things feeling fresh.

Building up to the main body of the show via one of her own sculptures in the gallery's reception area and Dawn Cerny's silk-screened and hand-drawn wallpaper in an interstitial hallway, Shaver also contextualized her project with a flurry of framed quotations. These included lines from Duchamp (taste can't help you understand what art can be) and Henri Matisse (it's a bad mistake to give a pejorative sense to the word "decorative") alongside the artist's own straightforward self-introduction (from henry i have learned howto use massive amounts of color, shape, and texture, as well as how TO MAKE THE SINGULAR REVEAL ITSELF AMID A QUANTITY OF DISPARATE objects). All these statements were indubitably on point, but the gesture's didacticism, though mild, still felt out of place in a gallery.

Derek Eller's main space featured Shaver's Quilt, 2016, a wall-filling agglomeration of drawings, paintings, photographs, and collages that was fronted by a clutch of sculptures and found objects. …

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