Exhibition Description


Still Life
Works by Adam Shirley
February 4 – March 3, 2012

View images from the exhibit

Continuing to work with steel, a material typically associated with utility and function, Shirley’s latest investigations into the relationships between two and three-dimensional objects, material and scale, now take him into creating compositions referencing the history and tradition of still life paintings, and more specifically the work of Giorgio Morandi.

Shirley’s three-dimensional works arise from layering a singular material, providing multiple perspectives to experience the spatial interactions between form, color and light, as well as, figure and ground. Yet, the intentional frontality of Shirley’s sculptural compositions reveal their formal relationship to painting, with objects set up for an ideal or framed viewpoint.

In these still life compositions, Shirley intentionally creates forms that appear to float on the surface of the tables, while others seem to merge with the surface completely. Since Shirley is for the most part leaving the surface quality of the steel in its original condition, the viewer’s attention is naturally drawn to the wide rang of visual difference and diverse subtly the raw steel displays.

Delving into the creation of sculptural compositions that either evoke intimate immersive spaces, or invite one into expansive spaces such as imaginary landscapes, Adam Shirley once again creates works that intend to engage the viewer into their own exploration of the potentials of each object or form, opening them for infinite interpretations and experiences.

Adam Shirley received his BFA in 1993 from the College for Creative Studies (CCS), in Detroit, Michigan, and a Master of Fine Arts in the Metalsmithing Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 2010. Shirley has been recently awarded the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship.