A veteran of the New York art world, Alyson Shotz is known internationally for works of art that address space, light, and perception. Her interest in environmental issues and topology—a branch of mathematics concerned with the properties of geometric forms that remain constant despite transformation—is also evident in her artworks.
The exhibition features several three-dimensional works, including a six-foot-tall Viewing Scope installed adjacent to the State Street Gallery window. This interactive work is comprised of thirty steel tubes with mirror-polished interiors; lenses of varying magnifications are placed at the ends of each tube. The work functions much like the viewfinders found at scenic lookout points throughout the country. However, instead of enhancing the experience of a sublime landscape, the scopes compel the viewer to see a given setting from a variety of twisted perspectives. For museum visitors, the distinctive views of State Street afforded by the Viewing Scope suggest that art can address issues beyond the white walls of the gallery.
Other works in the exhibition include Shotz’s Forced Bloom series. Works in this series combine biological imagery with topology-influenced computer renderings of shapes. According to Jane Simon, MMoCA’s curator of exhibitions, this interplay of different-but-related forms “suggests multidimensional spaces that can be mapped by mathematics but are imperceptible to the human eye.”
Generous support for Alyson Shotz: Topologies has been provided by the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation and the Overture Foundation; Paula and David Kraemer; Daniel Erdman; Jesse and Nancy Ishikawa; a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin; and the Art League of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
Gallery Talk with Alyson Shotz
December 8 • 6:30 pm
Artist Alyson Shotz discusses her work on view in Alyson Shotz: Topologies.
State Street Gallery.