an eerie “lived with” aura


The curiosity shop that artist Nancy Shaver runs in Hudson, N.Y., is named Henry. It is an antique store filled with non-art objects in display cases that customers pay cash for and carry away. In one sense Shaver makes straightforward modernist/minimalist sculptures: brightly colored or patterned little boxes that are lined up or stacked on object pedestals such as wheeled dollies or handmade shelving units or placed on the walls in object frames such as musical instrument cases and in handmade wooden boxes. In another sense, Shaver transforms, through an intuitive predominantly visual decision making process, real objects she does not modify in any way into expensive art objects. Shaver’s exhibition at Feature Inc. includes non-art objects from Henry, sculptures that are completely handmade by the artist and sculptures that combine the handmade and the found object. This work is all about the nexus of the utilitarian object that has hidden poetic qualities and the self-consciously constructed art object. Shaver’s art is also about accumulation, juxtaposition, and the visual habits we form with objects that we live with day to day.

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