The opening show of 2009 at Frank Lloyd Gallery is Richard Shaw: Still Life. Shaw's signature trompe-l'oeil sculpture has often followed in the tradition of still life painting. References to mortality, visions from idle hours, and moments of reflection have populated the work. Shaw will present his meticulously crafted still life sculptures, which are composed of common elements with autobiographical significance. Viewers can expect to see books and letters, cakes and ashtrays, teapots, plates, and even an origami ship--sinking into the cover of a book.
The sinking ship is a timely commentary on the global financial crisis. Shaw's ship is fashioned, seemingly, from U.S. dollar bills. It is sinking into the top of a stack of books. The book is humorously titled Streets of Apathy.
Shaw, a master of trompe-l'oeil sculpture, is a unique figure in the world of contemporary ceramics. For over 25 years, he has used clay to recreate the mundane objects of everyday life, gathering them together into ceramic sculpture that has the power to both amuse and amaze. From mayonnaise jars to milk cartons to paint buckets, Shaw appropriates mass culture while also drawing on personal experiences and memories. Using an astonishing array of techniques, including perfectly cast porcelain objects, hand built and thrown clay, and overglaze transfer decals, Shaw teases both the mind and eye with his startlingly realistic objects.
Coming out of the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960's, Shaw has long been associated with the Funk movement. Working with Funk icons such as Robert Arneson, Shaw maintained his own purpose and style. His work is rigorous and complex without abandoning the whimsy and humor of Funk. Among the most respected and collected artists in contemporary American ceramics, Shaw has work in public and private collections around the world. His work is included in the collections of The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, to name but a few.