The abstract works on paper by Eric Shaw give us a different view of the human form – a perspective credited mostly to the Surrealists of the early 20th century. The body is structured like a building, where legs and arms appear as shapes and suggestions of forms, rather than realistically rendered body parts. Shaw’s angular women are expertly arranged in one piece, making sure not to leave too much space for the eye to wander. Seductively bent over, lying down, and reclining women expose themselves without inhibition, their faces a mixture of teardrop shapes and muted colours: highly controlled and contained within the image plane.
The combination os shapes for each of Shaw’s figures appears random, perhaps in the same way that André Breton would work: collecting items at random and letting his subconscious be the guide. Whilst I could rattle off a number of famous artists whose influences are obvious in Shaw’s works, it seems far more profitable to let the figures play in your subconscious whilst your eyes explore the forms and patterns.
Text by Marion Piper.