Nancy Shaver’s One-Room Biennale

THE DAILY PIC: At Derek Eller, Shaver's skills as a curio collector get applied to art.

THE DAILY PIC (#1584): Nancy Shaver, who owns a well-known curio store upriver from New York, has applied an antique-picker’s skills to her first solo show at Derek Eller Gallery: She has gathered vast numbers of works by artists she knows and admires (including former Daily Pic-ees Steel Stillman and B. Wurtz) into a room-sized assemblage that any hoarder would be proud of. (Click on my image to zoom in on the project.)

As a many-into-one installation, it captures the overall pleasure that any art lover takes in remembering the plenty they’ve encountered in a life of looking.

In tension with that, however, Shaver’s show also evokes the growing sense that many of us have of an art world stuck in a cycle of ceaseless growth, without much in the way of purpose or direction.

That means that Shaver’s installation strikes a rare balance between celebration and critique ­– precisely what our world, and our art world, requires of us now.

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.


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