Alan Shields: Taking Color Field for a Walk

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David Carrier reviews the exhibition Alan Shields: Maze at Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, on view through December 21, 2012.

Carrier writes: "The Greenberg Van Doren Gallery has a relatively large unobstructed display room. And so, filling a large part of it with Maze (1981-82), filled with decorative circles, triangles and rectangles composed of areas of pure color, and some intricate geometric patterns changed completely the way that you experienced that space. Twisting and turning, walking on narrow pathways between paintings hung on frail-looking wood frames using webs of cotton belting, you finally emerged on the far side from the entrance. The pathway is narrow enough that you need to turn sideways. When you enter, you don’t know exactly where the path will lead. Were someone to enter from the other side, you then would have to back out. At some points, you can see outside, but often when you are within Maze you find yourself immersed in a forest of paintings."

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