Crown Point Press
Alyson Shotz: New Etchings
Alyson Shotz: New Etchings
In 2019, for her second project at Crown Point Press, Alyson Shotz made four etchings in muted tones of green, blue, purple, and gray. This is a departure from her first project at Crown Point, in early 2013, which consisted of a small rainbow-colored portfolio of five origami-like images and four larger works printed in pale pink. Shotz's new etchings focus on tangled bunches of knots, a subject that the artist began investigating in 2003. Knots have a long history in human culture dating back to prehistoric times, serving a variety of purposes from aesthetics to spiritual symbolism. Shotz is interested in the concept of mathematical knots and their representation in a three-dimensional space. After observing tangled balls of wire in her studio, she used 3D modeling software to recreate them.
In an exhibition catalog from 2014 and published by Derek Eller Gallery, Shotz explains how 3D software is an integral part of planning her sculptures. “The ability to solve problems in a virtual space of three dimensions enabled me to conceive and construct things that would not have been possible using only pen and paper,” she wrote. In these new etchings, the knots seem to be alive as lines weave and loop through one another in an endless continuum.
Alyson Shotz, Knot Theory (blue), 2019. Color aquatint on white paper chine collé. Sheet size: 22.5 x 16". Edition 20. Published by Crown Point Press.
Recently looking at knotted and tangled balls of wire in my studio, I got interested again in these complex forms. The entanglement in the balls of wire seems to display a structure similar to dark matter clumped in the universe. I wanted to explore these complicated forms sculpturally… I have flattened the three-dimensional shapes to make the knotted images for Crown Point Press. The prints are two dimensional representations of three dimensional forms.
Alyson Shotz in the Crown Point etching studio, 2019.
Alyson Shotz, Knot Theory (gray), 2019. Color aquatint on natural paper chine collé. Sheet size: 22.5 x 16". Edition 20. Published by Crown Point Press.
Alyson Shotz, Knot Theory (purple), 2019. Color aquatint on white paper chine collé. Sheet size: 22.5 x 16". Edition 20. Published by Crown Point Press.
Alyson Shotz was born in Glendale, Arizona in 1964. She studied geology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, then transferred to the Rhode Island School of Design to focus on art. She received her BFA there in 1987, and went on to graduate school at the University of Washington, completing an MFA in 1991. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Shotz received the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 2004 and was an Arts Institute Research Fellow at Stanford University in 2014-2015. In 2019, the Hunter Museum of American Art unveiled a permanent installation that was commissioned in conjunction with the exhibition "Alyson Shotz: Un/Folding." She is represented by Derek Eller Gallery and Carolina Nitsch Contemporary Art in New York and Galleri Andersson/Sandstrom in Stockholm. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.