eyehand: Selected sculpture from 1975 - 2011

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
pipegut, waterseat and STANDSTILL , 1984 © Portland Center for the Visual Arts, Portland, OR
eyehand: Selected sculpture from 1975 - 2011

45 North Venice Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
November 19th, 2011 - January 14th, 2012
Opening: November 19th, 2011 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

santa monica/venice
Tue-Sat 10-6
installation, sculpture


Holiday hours:
Closed: Saturday, 24 December and Saturday, 31 December

Venice, CA---- L.A. Louver is pleased to present a survey exhibition of sculpture by Peter Shelton. Spanning 1975-2011, the exhibition encompasses the full range of forms created by the artist over the past 25 years, and is presented throughout all L.A. Louver galleries. Peter Shelton: eyehand is part of L.A. Louver’s exhibition programming presented in conjunction with the Getty Foundation initiative, Pacific Standard Time.

A lot of my early work started off nominally geometric and constructed, but I would sneak in a reference to the body without depicting the body, which was a way of creating a kind of subversive connection. Desire, memory, humor, even wistfulness are powerful psychic qualities that I do not avoid. I wanted to enter the work directly and have its narrative understood as much in the body as the mind.

-- Peter Shelton

eyehand demonstrates the evolution of Shelton’s development as an artist of international stature. Early works include flattop, 1975, and cheesestick, 1977, that Shelton created while at UCLA, as well as a selected group of forms from his 1979 MFA thesis exhibition, SWEATHOUSEandlittleprincipals. Major bodies of work are represented, such as Shelton’s waxworks sculptures, previously exhibited at the Des Moines Center, Iowa and the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art (now the San Diego Museum of Art) in 1989; bronze sculptures that featured water elements in thingsgetwet, presented at LACMA in 1994; godspipes that were first seen at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 1998; and works relating to cloudsandclunkers, Shelton’s 2004-2005 commission for the SeaTac Airport, Seattle, Washington. eyehand also debuts Shelton’s most recent sculptures, including a gold-leafed torus form, entitled fatangel, 2011.

While providing insight into the universe of Shelton’s forms, eyehand conveys Shelton’s increasingly sophisticated exploration of mass and space in a material effort to engage both body and mind, challenging and elucidating our navigation of the physical world.

I like to think of my work as a threshold between in and out, object and space, heavy and light. You can see a preoccupation with the piercing of a membrane as a theme in flattop, 1975, with its overhead plane extended endlessly by mobility of it wheels. holecan, 1980 is an anthropometric planetarium of perforations. And recently blackslot, 2008-10 pushes its  elusive objectified inner out to its edges where its containing skin defuses into an indefinite surface bleeding off into space.

-- Peter Shelton

A full range of artist materials – bronze, iron, steel, cement, lead and fiberglass – as well as scale and palette are featured, from the ambercolored, 22-inch high doublebubble, 2004-5; to the opaque, lead-veined, bowed-legged frogleg, 1999-2000, that stands 11 feet tall. Suspended, freestanding and wall-bound sculptures are exhibited in juxtaposition to one another, including the centipedic 24-foot long moutheader, 1987-1991, which hangs from the ceiling and divides the gallery space at waist level; the standalone mass of irondress, 1990-2000; and the tubular uheader, 1995-2009 that extends into space from the gallery wall.

In addition to fatangel, three new sculptures will be exhibited for the first time: mthead, treblelobe and twobiglobe, all created in 2011.


Born in 1951, Peter Shelton was a pre-medical student at Pomona College, studying sociology, anthropology and theatre, before he switched to major in fine art. Shelton went on to earn a trade certificate in welding from the Hobart School of Welding Technology in his hometown of Troy, Ohio, in 1974, and a MFA from the University of California Los Angeles in 1979. Shelton has exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1987; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1994; the Irish Museum of Art 1998-1999, and Portland Art Museum, 2011. Awards include the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, 1987; John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and Henry Moore Sculpture Trust, 1989; Flintridge Foundation Visual Artists Award, 1999/2000; and the St. Gaudens Memorial Fellowship, 2000. Shelton’s work may be found in collections worldwide, such as the Getty Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Panza Foundation, Milan, Italy; and Museum of Modern Art, Lodz, Poland. Recent commissions include sixbeastsandtwomonkeys for the Police Administration Building in downtown Los Angeles, and thinmanlittlebird for the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, both in 2009.