OPENS: APEX: Shelby Shadwell

November 21, 2015 all-day
Shelby Shadwell, AUNIVERSAL PICTURE 3, 2013
Shelby Shadwell, AUNIVERSAL PICTURE 3, 2013, Charcoal on paper, image courtesy of the artist.

Masterful, classically beautiful, observation- based drawing is seen rarely in the contemporary Northwest art world. Shelby Shadwell of Laramie, Wyoming, employs a meditative concentration to produce elegantly rendered, grand-scale drawings of piles of cockroaches, used diapers, and challengingly adept portraits. Using charcoal and erasers to control strong contrast and deftly model form in his black-and-white drawings, he purposefully chooses subject matter that will shock the unsuspecting viewer. Small insects, heaped together and enlarged, present a fascinating spectacle—repellent and engaging, as do piles of dirty diapers. Shadwell says of the context for his art, “I believe that my work fits into the ongoing dialogue that elevates the mundane, the ephemeral or the vulgar to a higher status, thereby reflecting parts of society that we
often refuse to acknowledge in the mirror of traditional norms.” Shadwell has exhibited around the United States and received the First Place Award in the Texas National 2014 Exhibition at the Cole Art Center in Nacogdoches, Texas, from juror Jerome Witkin.

APEX is an ongoing series of exhibitions of Northwest-based artists, curated by Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art. The APEX series is supported in part by The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Endowments for Northwest Art, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and the Exhibition Series Sponsors.


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