In his recent works, David Shaw seems to have found a way to the "matrix," as anyone who saw the movie of that name might agree. He carefully covers the stumps of sawed off branches of trees with sheets of holographic laminate, a two-dimensional material that gives three-dimensional effects.
In Shaw's hands, the slick, prismatic surface in each work is transformed into an ethereal, fluid substance that changes when viewed from various angles and is loaded with metaphorical implications. The two sculptures on view here suggest some sort of laboratory experiment that has gone awry. The trees seem contaminated by radioactivity or by some other technological mishap.
Connecting the worlds of technology and nature seems to be Shaw's focus, and nowhere is the theme more evident than in the two large colorful photographs on view. While the intense artificial-looking colors and fragmented spaces in the work seem computer generated and enhanced, there is no computer involved in the process. Shaw arranges certain glass vessels he makes on tables and shelves covered with holographic laminate and simply takes the shot.
The result is a hallucinogenic image that puns on Edgerton's famous "milk drop" stroboscopic image as it does psychedelic art and Cubism. The puns carry over to the large sculpture Bump, which hints at the dissolution of Cubist spatial constructs and points the way to a hitherto unexplored realm.
David Shaw, Nov. 6-Dec. 22, 1999, at Feature, Inc., 530 West 25th Street, New York, N.Y. 10001.