Alyson Shotz plays with the simple physical properties of metal and glass, much a like a painter does with paint. In that sense, the metallic surfaces of her sculptures at Carolina Nitsch Project Room are strangely organic, despite the pixelated world they create.
Magnetic Forces (2011), a series of stainless steel cubes, recalls the body’s clustering of cells, such as pimples or cancerous growth. As the title points out, Shotz makes use of neodymium magnets to create the effect of cellular formation on the otherwise steely flatness. Metal beads seem to gather over the cube’s sleek edges, as though the metal were bubbling up.
Reflections add another layer of embodied form as they echo the viewer’s image, warping and shifting with movement that belies the cubes’ otherwise static position. It is that reflective element that becomes the main attraction in Frames per second, which covers an entire wall with thinly cut strips of mirror, a curtain of glass that fractures reality in its surface and enlarges the Project Room’s modest interior.
Is it the sculptures’ smooth minimalism and resemblance to sci-fi robot aesthetic that attracts me to them? There’s something attractive about them and it’s not the magnets.
Images: Magnetic Forces, 2011, stainless steel; Frames per second, DETAIL, 2011, mirror. Courtesy the artist and Carolina Nitsch Project Room.