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Back to Reviews 96

David Shaw, 
installation view. 

© ArtNet Worldwide 1997

david ebony's 
new york top ten

David Shaw 
at caren golden
October 17 - November 16, 1996 
David Shaw's finely honed sculptures and 
photo objects always leave you scratching 
your head. The visual information he offers 
is insistent and seems logical, but 
ultimately, it's logic from another planet. 
All of the works in this show, his second 
at Caren Golden, appear to be part of a 
narrative. And the intimate space of the 
gallery ensures a personal involvement. An 
Adirondack chair and a picnic table bench, 
neatly covered in silvery holographic 
laminate, transport the gallery to an 
outdoor setting. A standing figure near the 
corner is removing a bright orange 
sweatshirt. Are we about to be mugged? It's 
only a mannequin, you say. But what of the 
newly hatched bird that fell from its nest? 
It struggles in a vat of milky white resin. 
And what are those pictures of glowing 
lights--ads for Absolute Vodka, a la 
Houdini--doing on the wall? This uncanny 
and unforgettable work marks a place 
between presence and absence, and between 
reality and the unreal. One of the most 
intense installations I have ever seen, the 
work as a whole has a kind of laid back 
feeling of menace, something nonchalantly 
horrific, like certain scenes from the 
movie Fargo.
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