Alyson Shotz

Crystalline Structure #2 (2013)

glass beads and stainless steel wire
108 inches by 120 inches by 120 inches
Site specific commission

Located in Owner's Club, East Elevator lobby

The space between things is as important to Alyson Shotz’s multipart sculpture as are the materials that make up its many components. That simple shift, from a single thing standing in space to an endless array of elements suspended in midair, distinguishes Shotz’s three-dimensional piece from traditional sculptures. More important, it signals her art’s engagement with the world in which we now live: a global network where everything is connected to everything else and instantaneous communication seems to have diminished the distance that once separated far-away places.

What’s most remarkable about Shotz’s spectacular sculpture is that it makes a place, amid the hustle and bustle of modern life, for quiet contemplation. To see her site-specific sculpture is to be immediately dazzled by its beauty. That alone is significant, and worth a visit. But for Shotz, it’s only the beginning.

Rather than making a powerful object that stops viewers in our tracks and invites us to marvel at its magnificence, she draws us into her work’s orbit by making us want to see it from as many angles as possible. That’s when we discover that the material she has sculpted is light—and that the way light moves through her precisely arranged piece is what matters. In a sense, Shotz has composed a silent symphony of reflected and refracted light, its lively luminosity guiding our eyes along lines through space, where various patterns shimmer and sparkle and then disperse, depending upon our position and point of view. It’s a simple sort of interactivity that could not be more low-tech or profound.

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