Free and open

Alix Anne Shaw

2017 Hot Metal Artist

Green Man

36” x 22” x 36”
Cast iron

Artist Statement

I think of my work as a process of weirding space in order to challenge our predominant modes of encounter. I am interested in our often-disastrous relationships with the natural environment and in ephemeral moments of human experience: the time we spend walking or in transit, the items we discard, the carelessness of mark making. Such interactions with the world around us are among our most mundane and intimate; they separate us from one another, are potentially damaging to those we encounter, and at the same time make us fundamentally human. As an artist, I create small acts of lyricism and strangeness, inviting viewers to reconsider the mundane.

In this piece, I wanted the viewer to experience a momentary, impish intrusion of nature into human space. Philosopher and literary critic Walter Benjamin was a great believer in the power of laughter to bring about changes in perception. My hope is that Green Man will provoke laughter and provides food for thought about our relationship with the natural world, the marks we leave upon it and the marks it leaves upon us. Co-opting, disrupting, destabilizing, opposing, holding forth, building small fires of meaning and protest in the cracks—this is what I want my work to achieve.

Alix Shaw



Born: Tecumseh, MI, 1972
Resides: Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI

• MFA, Sculpture, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2015
• BA, English, Yale University, 1994
• BA, Psychology, Yale University, 1994

Selected Exhibitions
• Colony Collapse, Modular Project Space, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, PA, 2017
• People vs. Space, Richard Grey Gallery, Chicago, IL, 2012
• Constructed Visions, St. Louis Artists’ Guild, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2017

Selected Collections
• Stead, University of Iowa Digital Library, The Daily Palette Digital Collection
• Dismantled Notebook, Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Selected Awards
• Awarded 3rd in Show, Words+Text+Numbers, St. Louis Artists’ Guild, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
• Awarded Most Unusual Design in Show, Focus on Fiber, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Carmichael, CA, 2016
• Edes Fellowship Nomination for outstanding work in Sculpture, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2015