The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

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September 9, 2022 to August 20, 2023 | Main Street Sculpture

David Shaw: Last Steps

David Shaw’s Last Steps (2021-22) will be on view as part of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s Main Street Sculpture program from September 9, 2022 to August 20, 2023. Since its founding in 1964, The Aldrich has activated its grounds with public sculpture and outdoor installations. Free and open to the public, Museum visitors can find Last Steps installed at 258 Main Street in Ridgefield, CT.

Shaw’s recent work explores the indistinct boundaries that separate nature, technology, and consciousness. Last Steps, which takes the form of a step ladder, is in a process of decomposition as well as rebirth, with gleams of spectral light appearing in gaps in the moss-like growth that has enveloped it, suggesting an alternate reality or a regenerative possibility lurking beneath the surface. Shaw states about the piece: “As we begin to embrace our responsibilities to the natural world, Last Steps is both an image of our frustrated, unattainable, and perhaps misguided desire for progress, and a symbol of hope that the world wants to rebuild, that life wants to continue.” The artist’s use of the ladder form—but with missing rungs—speaks of the challenges we face as a civilization as we try to heal what has been lost.

Last Steps was originally commissioned as part of Re:Growth, an exhibition of outdoor works in Manhattan’s Riverside Park in 2021, organized by Karin Bravin of BravinLee Programs, New York.

David Shaw: Last Steps is organized by independent curator and artist Richard Klein, The Aldrich's former Exhibitions Director.

David Shaw was born in 1965 in Rochester, New York. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


Top image: David Shaw, Last Steps, 2021-22. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Christopher E. Manning