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Nancy Shaver  

Dress the Form 

June 26 - August 19, 2016 

Opening reception: Sunday, June 26, 2016 6-8pm 


 A compression of hierarchy is the wish. Intelligence is attained through material labor and institutional learning equally. Shaver asks that this be acknowledged by showing us what can be seen. There is no top down or bottom up. There are only things. Every suggestion has been considered. Any reaction is reconcilable, and even the most contrary is welcome.


It would be wrong to say that the found objects in this show are selected for their charged history of use. Instead, they are chosen for the  signifiers that lie right on the surface and not the ones shrouded in mystery. Sentiment is not an aesthetic, but is a given of existence. Age is fact.


Complications and modern problems are fact. Decoration marries the form, so often created for need and function.


A Ugandan football made from shopping bags and rubber bands rests against a Victorian vase is overshadowed by a chenille rooster clearly chosen for it’s color in relation to the base. Like skating on a roller rink, all levels of skill, class, age, and belief move in the same direction, on the same plane, passing one another, falling down, getting back up, acknowledging and applauding, for the sake of living.


-Jared Buckhiester


I loved my country, but I could not respect it, could not, upon my soul, be reconciled to my country as it was.  And I loved my work, had a great respect for the craft which I was compelled to study, and wanted it to have some human use. It was beginning to be clear to me that these two loves might, never, in my life, be reconciled:  no man can serve two masters.


-James Baldwin


This will be Nancy Shaver’s (b. 1946) first solo exhibition at Derek Eller Gallery. In 2015 she opened Reconciliation, a solo exhibition at The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT. Shaver’s work has recently been featured in Greater New York, MoMA PS1, Queens, NY, as well as Robert Gober’s The Heart is not a Metaphor at MoMA, New York NY. Between 2002 and 2011 she mounted five solo exhibitions at Feature Inc. New York, NY and seven with Curt Marcus Gallery New York, NY between 1987 and 1999. 


Included in this show are collaborations, and work by fellow artists:

Taylor Davis, Judy Linn, David Halliday, Dawn Cerny, Adriana Farmiga, Julia Klein, Kelly Kaczynski, Kenji Fujita, Kevin Larmon, Halsey Rodman, Pamela Cardwell, Pamela Lins, John Jackson, Arthur Gibbons, Tracy Miller, Joyce Robins, Beka Geodde, Jared Buckhiester, Jeanne Liotta, Mark Wonsidler, Emi Winter, Jean-Philippe Antoine, Steel Stillman, Phoebe d'Heurle, Heather Anne Halpert, Alyse Ronayne, Charles LeDray, Benjamin Wilson, Annette Wehrhahn


The artist extends special thanks to John Jackson for welding and everything else, as well as thanks to the Salvation Army in Oneonta, N.Y. and Core Values in Stamford, New York for material, and social history lessons.


Derek Eller Gallery is located at 300 Broome Street between Eldridge Street and Forsyth Street. Hours are Wednesday - Sunday from 11am to 6pm and Tuesday by appointment. Summer hours (July and August) are Monday - Friday from 11am to 6pm. For further information please contact the gallery at 212.206.6411 or visit